A twist on the classic Amatriciana, this Rigatoni Amatriciana recipe is quick, simple, and will feed a crowd!
If you're looking for a new pasta sauce recipe, you must try this Rigatoni Amatriciana! This pasta is made with a handful of ingredients but it's bursting with flavour!
And this recipe is quick too! These rigatoni Amatriciana take just under 30 minutes from start to finish, making this dish a perfect weeknight dinner and a simple Sunday lunch ideal for feeding a crowd.
This recipe is a slight twist on the classic Amatriciana recipe, but it can be easily adapted to whatever ingredients are accessible to you.
What is Amatriciana?
Amatriciana sauce is a traditional Italian pasta sauce originating from Amatrice. The classic sauce recipe is based on 3 main ingredients: guanciale, pecorino cheese, and tomatoes.
Amatriciana is traditionally served with bucatini pasta, which is a spaghetti-like type of pasta with a hole running through the center that picks the sauce beautifully.
This slight twist on the classic Amatriciana is made with (optional) onions, chilli, and served with rigatoni pasta.
What is Guanciale?
Guanciale is a type of cured meat made from pork cheeks. It is very fatty, rich and flavorful, and is typically seasoned with salt, and other herbs.
Ingredients and Substitutions
Pasta - This recipe calls for rigatoni dry pasta, but you can use any type of pasta that is available. Amatriciana also goes well with bucatini, spaghetti, penne rigate, and ziti.
Guanciale - The classic Amatriciana recipe is made using guanciale (cured pork cheek meat). If this is not accessible or available, pancetta is good alternative.
Onion - You will need one small onion (or half a large onion). The classic Amatriciana recipe does not call for onions, so this is an optional additional ingredient which can be left out.
Chilli - Use thinly sliced chilli for added flavour. Optional.
Dry White Wine - Used to deglaze the pan and for extra flavor.
Tomatoes - You'll need one can of crushed tomatoes or whole (peeled) tomatoes.
Pecorino Cheese - Although the traditional recipe calls for pecorino cheese (ideally Pecorino Amatrice), you can substitute with equal amounts of freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Asiago cheese.
Olive Oil - For coating the pasta before serving.
How to Make Rigatoni Amatriciana
Cook the Pasta
Cook the pasta according to package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water. Before draining, reserve ¼ cup of pasta water. Whilst the pasta is cooking, prepare the Amatriciana sauce.
Make the Sauce
To make the sauce, start by slicing the guanciale into 1cm (½") thick strips. Heat a large skillet on medium heat and add the guanciale.
Note: there is no need to add oil as the guanciale itself is very fatty and will release fat/oil whilst cooking.
Brown the guanciale (5-7 minutes), stirring frequently. Once browned, remove from heat and set aside, but do not remove any oil released from the skillet.
Add diced onion and chilli to skillet with guanciale oil/fat and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then, add white wine and deglaze the pan. Once wine is dissolved, add canned tomatoes and guanciale back to the pan.
Simmer the sauce on low heat for 10 minutes. If the sauce starts to dry out, add some reserved pasta water.
Add cooked pasta to the pan and toss to coat well with sauce. Turn off the heat and add olive oil, stirring well to coat the pasta.
Divide the pasta between 4 serving plates.
Sprinkle with freshly-grated pecorino cheese and serve!
Making Ahead and Storing
Amatriciana sauce can be made in advance (without adding the cheese) and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.
Before serving, reheat the sauce in a skillet or microwave.
You may need to add some water if the sauce is too thick.
Yes! Amatriciana sauce goes well with bucatini, spaghetti, penne rigate, and ziti, but you can use any type of dry pasta that is available - it's all about the sauce!
Although the traditional Amatriciana recipe calls specifically for guanciale (cured pork cheek), this is not always accessible.
The best alternative for guanciale is pancetta. If pancetta is not available, bacon works well too!
Other Quick Pasta Recipes
- 360 g rigatoni or other dry pasta of choice
- 150 g guanciale cut into strips (use pancetta if not available)
- 1 small onion diced, leave out for traditional method
- ⅛ tsp. finely chopped chilli optional
- 50 ml dry white wine
- 400 g chopped tomatoes 1 can
- 60 mL pasta water (¼ cup)
- 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
- 100 g pecorino cheese freshly grated + extra as desired
- Cook pasta according to package instructions (1 minute less for al-dente). Reserve ¼ cup of pasta water before draining.
- Slice guanciale into ¼" thick strips. Heat a large skillet on medium heat (do not add oil) and add guanciale. Cook, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes, or until browned. Guanciale will become transparent and release fat during cooking.
- Once browned, set guanciale aside, leaving released fat/oil in skillet.
- Add diced onion (if using) and chilli to skillet with guanciale fat and saute for 3-4 minutes. Then, add white wine and deglaze the pan.
- Once wine is dissolved, add canned tomatoes and guanciale back to pan. Simmer for 10 minutes. While cooking, add ¼ cup pasta water.
- Add cooked rigatoni to skillet with sauce and coat well. Turn off heat and add olive oil. Toss to coat pasta.
- Divide between 4 serving plates, top with grated pecorino cheese and serve!