If you never tried Bucatini all’Amatriciana, you are in for a treat! Next time you are craving pasta, try this simple bucatini recipe, and chances are you already have all the ingredients in your pantry!
I don’t know about you but pasta makes my heart happy. There is usually no bad days, or illness, or broken heart that cannot be cured or at least largely dissolved with a warm bowl of pasta.
I used to joke that I was given the wrong nationality because while all my Brazilian family live off of beans and rice (no joke, this stuff makes an appearance everyday on the table!), I can easily and happily trade this infamous combo for pasta any day of the week.
The simpler, the better! This is true for me. No wonder why this Tomato Basil Creamy Tortellini and Shrimp Spaghetti Aglio Olio are two of my top favorites! Well… right beside this Bucatini all’Amatriciana 🙂
Growing up in Brazil (nope, not Italy) bucatini was my faaaaaavorite pasta! I would eat and play with it for hours, in a ritual-like way that would fill my belly and my heart all at the same time. But back then we didn’t use fancy words like Bucatini all’Amatriciana. Oh heck noooo! we called it pasta or macarrão, portuguese). Whenever I heard that pork belly fat or pancetta hit the skillet, I knew it was going to be good.
Now, I’ve learned that this simple and delicious pasta with a cute little hole in the middle is called bucatini, and it has its roots in Amatrice, Italy, therefore named Bucatini all’Amatriciana.
what is bucatini
Bucatini is a thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center. In Italian buco means “hole”, and yes it is as fun to eat as it sounds. In fact, bucatini is great to use with sauces as some of the sauce will migrate into the tiny holes. So yuuuummmm!
how they get the hole in bucatini
Okay, things can get very technical for the pasta used in Bucatini all’Amatriciana. Basically, the pasta dough is fed into a machine that forces it through a perforated disk, similar to a meat grinder. Bucatini is made with a disk with tiny circular perforations, which forces the pasta dough to emerge in long tubes. The tubes are then trimmed off to the desired length and then either dried or cooked fresh.
where to buy bucatini
Most times you can find bucatini pasta at your local store. However, there have been times when I could not find it. Give it a shot as you have likely passed by without noticing it before, right next to all the other pasta. Amazon is a great place to buy and I have used this bucatini before (affiliate link), or if you are lucky enough to have a cute little Italian shop in town, they will surely have some.
how to make Bucatini all’Amaticiana
This is a very simple bucatini recipe and you likely have all the ingredients in your pantry, maybe aside from the bucatini and pancetta. Speaking of pancetta, I must add that the original recipe calls for guanciale which is an Italian cured meat that I never have the luck to find. Guanciale is similar to bacon, but it’s not smoked. Instead you can either use unsmoked bacon or pancetta, both are great substitutes. Honestly, I find excuses to use pancetta in my cooking so I am happy to do so in here 🙂
First you cook the pancetta until browned and crisp, then you add the garlic and onion and cook until soft and fragrant. Next you will need to add the tomato sauce. I used my Multi-Purpose Tomato Sauce but you can use a can of peeled tomatoes in juice. Season with crushed red pepper flakes, ground black pepper and salt to taste. Let the sauce cook on medium-low heat to thicken.
Lastly you will toss the drained pasta into that yummy and flavorful sauce (see pasta instructions in recipe card), add lots of pecorino tomato cheese and top with fresh parsley or basil. Bucatini all’Amatriciana is certainly simple to do and very delicious!
If you make this bucatini recipe be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys and always do my best to respond to each and every comment. And of course, if you do make this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram! Thanks a bunch!
- 1 lb bucatini pasta
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp pancetta
- 28 oz tomato sauce (homemade) or can of peeled tomatoes with juice
- 2 cloves glaric, minced
- 1 small white onion, minced
- 1/2 tsp each crushed red pepper flakes and black pepper
- 1 pinch kosher salt, to taste
- 1/3 cup grated pecorino romano cheese
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook according to package instructions or al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Heat oil in a large skillet. Add pancetta and sauté until crisp (about 4-5 minutes). Add onion and garlic and cook until soft and fragrant (about 3-4 minutes). Finally add tomato sauce (homemade recipe) or can of peeled tomatoes with juice, season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes, stir and reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens (about 15 minutes).
- Transfer drained bucatini pasta to the skillet and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta water if sauce is too thick. Top with perorino romato cheeser and fresh parsley or basil. Serve.
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