Enjoy a classic Italian pasta dish, pasta amatriciana, rich with smoky pancetta and fire roasted tomatoes, right in your own kitchen. Even better, you can make it all in one pan!
Why you’ll love it: This pasta recipe is a nice alternative to regular spaghetti with meat sauce. The clean-up is so easy, too.
How long it takes: 45 minutes
Equipment you’ll need: a large skillet with a lid, or Dutch oven
What is Amatriciana?
One of the best known pasta sauces in Italian cuisine, all’amatriciana is traditionally prepared with cured pork cheek (guanciale), pecorino cheese, tomatoes, and sometimes onions (thanks, Wikipedia). Amatriciana is usually served with bucatini or spaghetti.
Not sure how to say “amatriciana”? Don’t feel bad, I stumble over it, too. Here’s how: aa.muh.tree.chaa.nah! Just practice a few times and no one will guess that Italian isn’t your first language.
How we’ve made it easier
I’ve made this iconic dish easier for you with my one pan pasta recipe. You’ll love how delicious and healthy it is. No one will guess that you made everything, sauce and pasta, in one pan, in less than 45 minutes!
And I promise you won’t have to ask your harried grocer for cured pork cheek, quite possibly avoiding the stink eye or at the very least, a totally blank look.
What You’ll Need
- Pancetta – Pancetta gives this pasta its signature smoky flavor. You could also use bacon, or omit it and sprinkle in a little smoked paprika for a vegetarian version. It won’t be quite the same, of course, but it will be delicious!
- Red Onion – A yellow onion or sweet onion will work fine as well.
- Dry White Wine – The wine adds a nice layer of flavor, but if you prefer to omit it, just use a little extra chicken broth.
- Crushed Tomatoes & Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes – The crushed tomatoes provide the bulk of the sauce, and the fire roasted tomatoes give it an extra layer of smokiness. If you can’t find them, regular diced tomatoes will work.
- Chicken Broth – For a vegetarian version (if you’re opting for smoked paprika as I mentioned above), use vegetable broth.
- Whole Wheat Pasta – Our family loves whole wheat pasta, but choose a more traditional pasta if you’d like, or a gluten-free pasta. Keep in mind cooking time may change slightly.
- Herbs and Spices: You’ll need garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley, and basil.
- Parmesan Cheese – This is optional, but of course highly recommended.
How to make this recipe
This is just a quick run through of the recipe. There are complete instructions on the recipe card, along with specific measurements and nutrition information.
You’ll need a large straight-sided skillet with a cover, a sharp knife for the onion and garlic, and a can opener. That’s it — no colander or big pasta pot to wash. The pasta is cooked right in the sauce.
Begin by briefly cooking the pancetta in the skillet, then adding the onion, and then the garlic and red pepper flakes. All this sautéing shouldn’t take much more than 15 minutes, if that. Add the wine and cook over high heat until the wine is reduced by half. Just savor that lovely smell of wine cooking with pancetta, garlic, and onion. Yum!
Pour in the canned tomatoes, broth and dried oregano, stir everything well, and then add the uncooked pasta, making sure it’s all nicely tucked into the sauce. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and simmer until the pasta is al dente. Give it a stir now and then. If it’s looking a little dry, add a bit more broth or water. The pasta absorbs a lot of liquid.
Sprinkle with the fresh parsley and basil, and Parmesan cheese, if you like. I bet you can’t wait for your first forkful! And wasn’t that so easy?
This familiar pasta dish is named for the place it originated, Amatrice, a small mountain village in Italy.
Very simply put, amatriciana is distinctive because it’s made with a special type of smoked meat, guanciale, which is cured pork cheek. It isn’t as spicy as arrabbiata, which is translated “angry pasta.”
Make It Your Own
- Make it with bacon instead of pancetta. Substitute 5 to 6 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
- Choose the pasta you like best, whether it’s regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free.
- Spice it up by adding more red pepper flakes or black pepper.
Storage & Reheating Tips
Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days. You can freeze this pasta as well. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
Reheat gently in the microwave or in a skillet, adding more broth if the pasta seems too dry.
More one pan pasta recipes
Are you with me on this one? I just love one pan pasta recipes. They taste great and there’s so much less cleanup. Here’s more recipes for you:
- Chicken Marsala Pasta
- Taco Pasta
- Pizza Pasta (ready in 20 minutes!)
- Homemade Hamburger Helper
- Instant Pot Buffalo Chicken Pasta
- Easy Skillet Lasagna
- Gnocchi with Kale and Sundried Tomatoes
- One Pan Lemon Pasta with Sausage, Asparagus, and Dill
- Creamy Chicken Spaghetti (one pan, endless variations!)
- Crockpot Mac and Cheese
Interested in a weekly meal plan (it’s free!) that includes this recipe? Take a look at my Meal Plan #8. You’ll find a wholesome recipe for each weekday plus a categorized grocery list. Let me do the planning for you this week!
We’ll be adding a new meal plan weekly. If you’re interested, browse all of our meal plans.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 to 5 oz. pancetta, diced
- 1 cup diced red onion (about 1 small red onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (14.5 oz.) fire roasted diced tomatoes, undrained
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth (low sodium) or water
- 16 ounces whole wheat pasta, uncooked (we used penne)
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped or torn
- Grated or shredded Parmesan cheese, optional
- In a large straight sided skillet or Dutch oven, cook pancetta over medium heat, stirring frequently, until almost crisp, about 8 minutes.
- Add diced onion, salt and pepper to the pan, cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 4 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic; sauté for another minute.
- Pour in wine and cook until reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, fire roasted tomatoes, water or broth, and oregano, and bring to a boil.
- Add uncooked pasta and stir well, pushing pasta down into sauce. Turn heat down, maintaining a simmer. Cover and cook, stirring frequently, until pasta is al dente, about 12 to 14 minutes.
- Stir in parsley and basil. Serve with Parmesan, if desired.
Make it your own
- If desired, use bacon instead of pancetta. Substitute 5 to 6 slices of thick cut bacon, chopped into 1-inch pieces. Proceed with the recipe as directed.
- Choose the pasta you like best, whether it’s regular, whole wheat, or gluten-free. Keep in mind cooking time may change slightly.
- Spice it up with additional red pepper flakes or black pepper.
- For a vegetarian option, omit pancetta, use vegetable broth instead of chicken broth, and add 1 teaspoon smoked paprika for smokiness.
Storage & Reheating
- Refrigerate leftovers, covered, for up to 3 days. You can freeze this pasta as well. Thaw overnight in the fridge before reheating.
- Reheat gently in the microwave or in a skillet, adding more broth if the pasta seems too dry.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.