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Rigatoni all'Amatriciana

Wonho Frank Lee

Chef notes

Amatriciana  is a typical dish served in trattorias and osterias of Rome. The basic ingredients are tomato, guanciale and Pecorino, but the tomato was most likely added in the 17th century.  The first written account of this dish appears in the cookbook by Francesco Leonardi who served it to the pope's court in the 1800s.


Technique Tip: When salting water for pasta, season the water with kosher salt until it tastes like a soup not like the ocean. 


Swap Option: You can substitute guanciale for pancetta.


  • 8 ounces dried rigatoni (about a half of a box)
  • 4 ounces guanciale
  • 8 ounces tomato passata or canned pulp
  • 2 ounces Pecorino Romano
  • kosher salt



In a large heavy bottom pot on high heat, bring water to a rapid boil (approximately 7-8 minutes).


Season the water with kosher salt until it tastes like a soup not like the ocean. 

3, Add the pasta to the water and stir. Follow the instructions on the box for the most accurate cook time. 


Meanwhile, in a large skillet on medium heat add the guanciale and render slowly until golden brown and crispy, approximately 5 minutes. 


Reduce the heat to low and add the tomato passata. Swirl or stir to incorporate the rendered guanciale into the tomato passata. Reserve. 


When the pasta is finished cooking, approximately 8 minutes, drain the pasta into a colander and reserve 2 to 3 ounces of the water. 


Add the cooked pasta to the sauce and toss or stir to incorporate. While stirring or tossing, sprinkle in about half of the Pecorino Romano. 


Plate the rigatoni on a warm serving platter and garnish with the remaining Pecorino Romano. 


Serve immediately.