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spaghetti all Amatriciana


  • Author: Asha


Not My Father’s Spaghetti all’ Amatricana is an homage to my father and my childhood – Goodbye Prego, hello homemade deliciousness!


Units Scale
  • 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 pound pancetta or guanciale (you can use thick cut bacon as a last resort thick cut (1/4 inch) diced or cut into lardons.)
  • 2 medium yellow onions (chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar (don’t freak out trust me.)
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 6 cloves of garlic (finely minced)
  • 228 oz cans whole (peeled, San Marzano or plum tomatoes, hand crushed skins and hard bits removed)
  • 1/4 cup rough chopped basil (more for garnish)
  • 1 pound dried spaghetti (linguine or bucatini)
  • 1/4 cup chiffonade or rough chopped basil
  • 1/4 Pecorino Romano (more if you are feeding cheese lovers)



  1. Coat the bottom of a large saute pan with olive oil and place over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer add the pancetta and cook until most of its fat has rendered and the pieces have begun to brown and crisp.
  2. Remove the pancetta from the pan leaving the rendered fat. Add the onions and the brown sugar to the fat and cook on medium-low heat until the onion becomes soft and begin caramelizing, about 20-30 minutes (do not allow to burn).
  3. Add the garlic and the crushed red pepper. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the tomato and 2/3 of the cooked pancetta and bring everything to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat and simmer for 30 to 40 minutes.
  5. Check for consistency and seasoning. Add more salt or water if necessary. Add 1/4 cup of basil and turn down the heat to the very lowest setting just to keep it warm until the pasta is done.
  6. Reserve 1-2 cups of the sauce from the pan


  1. Cook the pasta according to the directions minus 2 minutes (al dente)
  2. Drain the pasta
  3. Add the drained pasta directly into the pan with the sauce. Cook over medium-low heat for 1-3 minutes until well combined, adding some of the reserved pasta sauce if necessary.

To Serve

  1. Transfer the finished pasta to a large warmed serving bowl or individual bowls.
  2. Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil, grated Pecorino Romano, basil chiffonade, and the remainder of the crisped pancetta.
  3. Serve
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