Amatriciana Pasta and a Roman adventure

My lucky sister Laura went to Rome recently for a romantic get-away with her fiancee Paolo.

Laura went to university in Rome and she knows the city very well so the real reason they went there was actually to eat! So they said.

Paolo is one of the greatest food-lovers I know. It is typical Italian behaviour to think of your stomach first but for Paolo food is paramount and he knows basically everything you can possibly know about it: from how to make a fab pizza dough, where to find the best cheeses and the finest wines in the area.. I always ask him for the best places to eat when I am in Italy but what strikes me most is his radiant and sunny personality as he is always happy.

Now do you see what I mean? In my experience people who love food are also fun to be with and have a general happy go lucky- positive attitude to life.  So everything else follows: you enjoy food = you are happy= you feel good=people want to be with you!

The morale of the story is: enjoying good food is good for you.

I have seen the pair going through many courses,  pastries and cakes and with Laura being so slim I really I don’t know where all her food goes!

ostaria romana

Rome is a magical and fascinating place and there is so much cultural and archeological stuff to see that it can be overwhelming. Also with the Romans being so funny, open and friendly that’s definitely where you want to head to if you have never been to Italy before.

Rome Italy

Roma arco


Think of what Rome was like during Roman times.. a city which was extremely modern and advanced for those days: Rome had a sophisticated and powerful society which had a profound impact on the pre-industrial world.

Roman cities had some features which resemble very much our modern cities: high rise apartment blocks, busy streets, piazzas, well built roads, advanced sewage systems and so on.

Rome ruins

Rome - The Colosseum

Paolo and Laura had a fantastic Amatriciana pasta which is a typical Roman dish.

Eating in Rome

eating pasta

Eating Amatriciana

The rite of eating spaghetti has been featured in many Italian films which depicted the joy of simple life pleasures such as eating a bowl of pasta.

Alberto Sordi , Toto' and Don Camillo eating spaghetti

Alberto Sordi , Toto’ and Don Camillo eating spaghetti

So now…. ladies and gentleman it is my turn to make my Amatriciana pasta.

Amatriciana Pasta and a Roman adventure

By 12/11/2014

This pasta was created in Amatrice, in the province of Rieti in the Lazio region. The original recipe is with spaghetti but in Rome they use bucatini, a thicker type of spaghetti with a hole in the middle.

To make Amatriciana you need guanciale, salt cured pork jowl which is similar to bacon (pancetta) but fatter and tastier.
As guanciale was not easy to find, I have used bacon instead as it is quite a good substitute for this dish.

  • Prep Time : 15 minutes
  • Cook Time : 20 minutes



In a pan bring some salty water to the boil.

In the meantime in a frying pan put a tbsp of olive oil, add the bacon cut into strips. Cook until the bacon looks nice and golden in colour whilst stirring all the time.

cooking bacon

Take the bacon out of the pan, set aside and keep warm.  Add the tomatoes, a dash of wine and the chopped chilli to the pan and cook for 10 minutes.

cooking tomatoes

Add the bacon to the sauce and a tbsp of olive oil. Stir well.

amatriciana sauce

Cook the pasta al dente and then add it to the pan with the tomatoes and the bacon. Cook for another minute stirring well to allow the pasta to absorb the sauce.

Serve with plenty of grated pecorino cheese.

Amatriciana pasta recipe

I am entering this to "Cook Blog Share"


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11 Responses to Amatriciana Pasta and a Roman adventure

  1. Anne

    I had Amatriciana when I visited Rome 3 years ago and it was so good! And I think eating it oudoors at a sidewalk ristorante made it taste even better!

    • Alida

      I know that can make a big difference! I had a look at your site and I love your creations! You are very skilled.

  2. la cucina di Molly

    Non mi stancherei mai di visitare Roma, è una città che adoro! Buonissima l’amatriciana, è un piatto molto appetitoso! Un abbraccio!

  3. Lucy Parissi

    This looks incredibly delicious. I just want to eat a huge plate – preferably in Rome! And I completely agree that people who love food = the best! Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

  4. Dottie Sauchelli Balin

    Dear Alida,
    I love this post and filled with such great info. Love the photos of Rome and your sister made a good choice of a finance, with Paolo. He sounds like a perfect person to have as family, happy, and “food” is one of his priorities. I have had Amatriciana at a restaurant in the New York City once. I always love that pasta called bucatini, it is a little thicker and has a good taste than just spaghetti. Besides the sauce gets in the little hole which is a nice touch. Your recipe is marvelous and will have to try this.
    I tried your potatoes from the last post, with the bacon around them and the cheese inside. I was going to get a photo of them, but my family went crazy and took them all before I could get a photo. They did come really good. Promise I will get a photo next time.. Thanks for sharing this recipe and all of your others..Have a good rest of the week dear friend…
    Dottie 🙂

    • Alida

      We really love Paolo, he is a great addition to our family! And he is a foodie so even better!
      Thank you for trying my potatoes, I am really pleased your family liked them!! xx

  5. Alida

    Yes it really is one of those great classic recipes you want to make over and over again.x

  6. Diana

    YAY! I will give this a shot for my Roman father-in-law….great post……I love Rome too…for all the reasons you mention…the history blows me away and EVERY time I am there – I imagine what it must have been like walking those streets 2000 years ago….fabulous sensation!

  7. Louise

    Hi Alida!
    Your sister sounds oh so lucky for sure. Not only has she found a wonderful man but one that worships her and FOOD!

    Whenever people speak of Rome and the fun city it is I always think of the movie Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn. It is one of my very best favorite movies, lol…I would love to be on that motor bike she was on traveling the alleys and crevices in Rome:)

    Of course any of the food would be more than delicious too. Your Amatriciana Pasta sounds oh so yummy. I must say though I’m surprised the bacon worked so good. That’s good to know because guanciale is impossible to find around here. Although, Pancetta is difficult too:) Thanks so much for sharing, Alida…

    • Alida

      Thank you Louise. Bacon seems to work just as well. I love this pasta!

  8. Kate - Gluten Free Alchemist

    I love Amatriciana! I think it was the first pasta sauce I ever made…… Yum yum!! I love Rome too……… a beautiful, vibrant, amazingly interesting city full if culture and history! This post makes me want to visit again………

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