Recipe – How to Cook Classic Spaghetti All’Amatriciana

How to Cook Classic Spaghetti All'Amatriciana

Are you looking to cook something for dinner that is delicious and easy to pull off? Perhaps there is no better recipe to begin with than spaghetti all’amatriciana, a savory dish that is a perfect starting dinner for home chefs just beginning their cooking journey. Crushed tomatoes meet pancetta, shallot, garlic, cheese, and red pepper in this recipe that may quickly become one of your favorites.

Basic Recipe Information

Prep time:

  • 10 minutes

Cooking time:

  • 25-30 minutes


  • 4

Equipment You Will Need

  • Pot
  • Pan or skillet
  • Metal spoon
  • Slotted spoon or spatula
  • Glass measuring cup
  • Colander
  • Tongs
  • Grater (as needed)


  • Olive oil (can substitute unsalted butter, ghee), 1.5 tablespoons/1.48 tablespoons metric
  • Pancetta, 8 ounces/1 package, .22 kg
  • Shallot, 1 medium or 2 small
  • Garlic, 2 cloves
  • Tomato paste, 1.5 tablespoons/1.48 tablespoons metric
  • Can, crushed San Marzano tomatoes, 28 oz. can, .79 kg
  • Spaghetti, 1 package, 1 lb./.45 kg
  • Crushed red pepper flakes, a pinch
  • Butter, 1 tablespoon/.99 tablespoons metric
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (Parmesan, Pecorino-Romano, or other cheese can be substituted), 3 tablespoons, 2.96 tablespoons metric

Preparation Directions

  • Heat up a skillet or pan on the stove. Add olive oil (extra virgin) or substitute with the equivalent of unsalted butter or ghee, a generous piece of butter, or a spoonful of ghee in that case. Allow to melt, and then add pancetta. Cut it into small cubes if it does not arrive prepared already cubed. Gently add your pancetta pieces to the hot pan to cook. Use the metal spoon to move the pancetta around as the fat renders out.
  • Crush garlic cloves with your hand or something flat. Take shallots and the garlic cloves and dice them relatively finely, but not too thin. Use a slotted spoon or spatula to remove the pancetta once it is crispy and has browned on the sides, reserving in a bowl. Add the shallot, allowing it to cook for two minutes, then add the garlic and mix, taking off after another two minutes before it gets too cooked through.
  • Leave in the pan and place along with it your tomato paste and red pepper flakes. The red pepper flakes can be left out for a milder taste. Stir on low, allowing flavors to meld, stirring with a large metal spoon or utensil of your choice.
  • After two minutes, bring the San Marzano tomatoes into the pan, along with the pancetta pieces and any fat left in the bowl. Cook for another 15 minutes. The sauce should have thickened slightly. Use a spoon to taste the sauce and add salt and pepper, a pinch of each. Turn off burners and set them to the side.
  • Take your large pot and fill over halfway and not to top with water. Saltwater generously and bring to a boil. Add spaghetti, cooking for roughly 7 minutes to al dente or as noted on the package. When al dente, drain with colander and reserve half a cup of water in your measuring cup, which you can use a bit of to thin out the sauce slightly to your preference. Add pasta to the pan, using tongs to mix in the sauce, plating after a minute or two, allowing it to sit in the pan.

How to serve/plate and garnish

Plate on regular serving plates or bowls, whichever feels right to you. Grate cheese on top or sprinkle grated cheese over your pasta. You can also garnish with a basil leaf or two or some oregano. Enjoy!

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