• Bucatini all’Amatriciana (Chris Chen)Source: Chris Chen

Authorities in Amatrice, the home of the amatriciana sauce, declare its six official ingredients as: guanciale (pork jowl), pecorino cheese, white wine, tomatoes (to be precise, tomatoes from San Marzano), pepper and chilli.






Skill level

Average: 3.3 (93 votes)

This version omits the wine and adds some onion and garlic for flavour depth. 


  • 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil
  • 125 g guanciale (pig’s cheek) (see Note) or pancetta, chopped
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 800 g can plum tomatoes, drained with liquid reserved, chopped
  • 400 g bucatini
  • 20 g (¼ cup) finely grated pecorino, plus extra, to serve

Cook's notes

Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.


Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add guanciale and cook for 4 minutes or until crisp. Add chilli flakes, onion, garlic and ½ tsp pepper, and cook, stirring, for 7 minutes or until softened. Add chopped tomatoes and reserved liquid and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for 20 minutes or until sauce has thickened.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving 125ml water. Add pasta and cooking water to tomato sauce and cook for a further 2 minutes or until pasta is coated. Stir through pecorino. Serve scattered with extra pecorino.


• Available from select butchers and delis.

Photography by Chris Chen