• 1 35-ounce can Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • Salt
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or to taste
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin (about 2 cups per medium onion)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 4 slices 1/4-inch pancetta (about 6 ounces), cut into 1 1/2-inch julienne strips (about 1 ½ cups; see Note below)
  • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 lb. bucatini pasta
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for passing


1. Slice the tomatoes into long strips and strain. Set aside. Bring 6 quarts of salted water to boil in an 8-quart pot.

2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over moderately low heat. Add the pancetta and cook until it renders some of its fat, about 5 minutes. Do not allow it to crisp. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

3. Add the red pepper flakes, garlic, and basil to the onion mixture and cook briefly to release their fragrance. Add the wine vinegar and simmer briskly until it evaporates

4. Add the strained tomatoes and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a simmer, and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, stir the bucatini into the boiling water and cook, stirring occasionally, until done, about 12 minutes.

6. Check the seasoning of the sauce, adding salt if necessary (remember the Pecorino is mildly salty).

7. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta- cooking water. Drain the pasta, return it to the pot and pour in half the sauce. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil and drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Add some of the pasta-cooking water, if necessary to make enough of the sauce to lightly coat the pasta. Check the seasoning, adding salt if necessary. Remove the pan from the heat, stir in 1 cup of the grated cheese and transfer to a large, heated serving platter or bowl. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top and pass additional grated cheese separately if you like.


Note: To cut the pancetta into julienne strips, first unroll each slice, and then cut the long strip crosswise into 1 ½-inch pieces. Cut the strips lengthwise into 1/4-inch strips.



MacGourmet downloadBuccatini All’ Amatriciana Combined. To import, drag image to your MacGourmet recipe box.


Lidia Bastianich & Michael Chiarello


Servings: 4
Yield: 4