Rigatoni Amatriciana is a classic Roman pasta that is very simple to make and really big on flavor. With only a few ingredients, namely guanciale, pasta, tomatoes and Romano cheese, you can have this authentic Italian classic on the table in just 30 minutes. This Roman Amatriciana recipe is the epitome of easy and delicious Italian cooking and will definitely be a favorite in your house.
Amatriciana sauce is one of the easiest of the authentic Roman pasta dishes that you can make. If you are wondering how to pronounce Amatriciana, it is very easy and sounds like this - Uh-mat-tri-chi-ana. Just say it a few times to get the hang of it and you will be on your way to pronouncing it like an Italian.
It is said to be from the Italian town of Amatrice which is how it got its name.
This classic Italian pasta now popular in Rome can be found on menus all over the city. Like all things with Italian cooking, this delicious Roman Amatriciana recipe relies on the flavors of just a few quality ingredients.
Amatriciana is so delicious and so easy to make. We often make this rigatoni Amatriciana or our Pasta con Salsiccia during the week for a quick meal. We also like to make it on the weekends with a delicious ricotta pie.
This authentic Amatriciana is easy enough for a weeknight meal but fancy enough to entertain with.
How to make rigatoni Amatriciana
Making this Roman Amatriciana is so easy. With just a few simple ingredients you can have an authentic Roman meal on your table.
- Guanciale. The authentic way to make Amatriciana is to use guanciale which is cured pork cheek.
- Canned plum tomatoes. I like to use San Marzano tomatoes because that is what the Italians use and it has a sweeter flavor.
- Rigatoni. Use a good quality pasta.
- White wine. The wine will help deglaze the pan that the guanciale cooks in adding so much flavor to this Roman sauce.
- Onion. You only need a very little bit. It helps add complexity to the sauce.
- Romano Cheese. Look for a good quality Pecorino Romano. It will make all the difference in terms of flavor in this Amatriciana sauce.
- Kosher salt.
To make an authentic Amatriciana sauce, the first thing you want to do is cook the guanciale so it renders all of its fat. That fat that cooks out of the meat will add so much flavor to the sauce and it is what makes this sauce what it is.
After you crisp up the guanciale, you will add the onions and salt add cook them until they are translucent. At this point you can go ahead and add the white wine and deglaze the pan.
Make sure to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan because that is flavor for the sauce.
Now you can add the canned plum tomatoes and give them a light pressing so they release their juices.
Once the Amatriciana sauce is assembled, you want to place a lid on the top and let it simmer on low for a bit. While the sauce is simmering, you can start to cook the rigatoni.
The very last step to making this delicious authentic Roman sauce is to add the cooked rigatoni to the sauce and toss together. You add the Romano cheese to the sauce and toss again and then top with a little more cheese.
That is it! While the Amatriciana sauce is simmering, you are cooking the pasta and wasting no time in the kitchen. The sauce only needs a little time to simmer since it is a fresher style tomato sauce and not a heavier marinara.
That is why this rigatoni Amatriciana recipe is so amazing. It tastes great and is so simple. You can see why the Romans love it.
This rigatoni Amatriciana is a classic Roman dish that requires only a few ingredients to make. Having said that, there is still room for substitutions if you cannot find all of these ingredients. Here are some ideas:
- Use pancetta. If you cannot find guanciale, Italian pancetta makes a great substitute in this Amatriciana sauce.
- Bucatini pasta. If you do not have rigatoni, you can use the other authentic pasta shape they use in Rome, bucatini. Bucatini is like thick spaghetti that is hollow in the middle. It is perfect for picking up the sauce.
- Omit the onion. You can easily make this Amatriciana sauce like the Romans by omitting the onion. The addition of onion is one variation of the sauce and depending on where you eat in Rome, some restaurants will have onion and some will not. So no worries if you don't add it.
Amatriciana comes from the town of Amatrice in Italy. It is thought that a chef brought this recipe to the Vatican where he cooked it for the Pope at that time and it made its way to the trattorias of Rome shortly after.
Amatriciana is a surprisingly light Roman pasta dish. Its flavors are of tomatoes and smoked guanciale with an earthy note added from the Romano cheese.
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Here some of our favorites desserts to serve with this:
- 1 pound Rigatoni
- 28 ounces Canned plum tomatoes
- 6 ounces Guanciale diced
- ½ cup Pecorino Romano divided
- ¼ cup Dry white wine
- ¼ cup Onion finely diced
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- ½ teaspoon Kosher salt plus more to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- In a medium sauce pan, add olive oil and guanciale and cook until crisp.1 tablespoon Olive oil, 6 ounces Guanciale
- Now add onion and salt and cook until the onion is translucent.¼ cup Onion, ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Add white wine and mix well making sure to scrape up any bits on the bottom of the pan.¼ cup Dry white wine
- Add tomatoes and gently press them down to break them up and stir well.28 ounces Canned plum tomatoes
- Reduce heat to low and cover to simmer.
- When the pasta water is boiling, add the rigatoni and cook until al dente.1 pound Rigatoni
- Wen ready, drain pasta and add it to the sauce.
- Toss well.
- Add ½ of the Romano cheese and toss again.½ cup Pecorino Romano
- Serve immediately with the remaining Romano cheese on the side for topping.
I made this for my boyfriend and I and we both loved it! We can’t wait to make it again.
I am so glad you both enjoyed it!