Pasta With Spicy Amatriciana Sauce


If you love bacon and the butt-whomping kick of chili pepper, give this pasta with amatriciana sauce a whirl.

pasta amatriciana sauce recipe

This pasta recipe is light on ingredients, easy on the brain, and seriously fiery on the tongue. To go really authentic, use bucatini pasta (effectively hollow spaghetti) to create so-called ‘bucatini all amatriciana’.

Or if you prefer, go more mainstream by serving up ‘spaghetti amatriciana’ instead. (I cheat on this page by using fusilli bucati – smaller bouncier shapes, but still with the hole through the middle.)

A couple of important amatriciana sauce pointers before we begin:

- Remove all the chili seeds as you chop, as these are the part of the pepper that truly burns

- Make sure you don’t touch your eyes with chilified hands (and wash your hands thoroughly after)

Health and safety out of the way, let’s get cooking!

Serves 2

Ingredients: (For a printable PDF shopping list click here, or right-click this link and choose 'Save target/link as' to save for later.)

250g/9oz bucatini/spaghetti

100g/3.5oz smoked bacon or pancetta

450g/1lb fresh medium-sized tomatoes

1 small red chili

20g/0.7oz pecorino cheese (cheat alternative: parmesan)

Squirt of tomato purée/paste



Pasta pot

Large frying pan

STEP 1 - First some preparation:

- Boil a kettle and stand the toms in a pan/dish full of boiling water (softening skins).

- Take chili pepper, chop off ends and chop down middle to remove seeds. Then chop finely.

- Chop bacon into inch-long strips.

- Drain tomato water and peel off tomato skins. Quarter each tom, remove seeds, then chop roughly.

STEP 2 - Fryin’ time.

- Fry bacon strips in medium heat frying pan (no oil required), until lightly browned (roughly 8-10 mins).

- Remove the bacon and add chopped toms, half the chili, squirt of tomato paste and good pinch of salt.

- Fry for 15-20 minutes, stirring regularly, until sauce loses its acidity. (When done, leave on minimum heat hob).

STEP 3 - While the sauce cooks, boil up a pan of pasta water, add a tablespoon of salt, and cook bucatini/spaghetti as per packet’s timings.

- When pasta is cooked, drain and drop into frying pan with sauce. Mix well and cook on medium heat for 1-2 mins more.


To serve: sprinkle grated pecorino/parmesan cheese on top, and if you like, also garnish with the remaining chili bits.

Did you enjoy this amatriciana sauce? Then try these other spicy recipes:

Spicy chili and garlic pasta recipe

Nuccia’s vegetable pasta recipe

Pumpkin pasta soup recipe

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