Seasonal local food recipe No.333 – Pasta all’Amatriciana


I’m posting this recipe in solidarity with all those affected by the earthquake in Italy last week which was centred on Amatrice.  More than 600 restaurants across Italy have been putting pasta all’Amatriciana on their menus and donating €2 from each one sold to the Red Cross.  If you are making the tomato sauce from scratch you will need to add another hour to the cooking time. This version is in The Geometry of Pasta by Caz Hildebrand and Jacob Kennedy.

Serves 4 as a starter, 2 as a main

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

200 g rigatoni or penne
120 g guanciale (cured pig’s cheek) or pancetta
a small pinch of crushed dried chilli
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
170 ml tomato sauce (see below)
90 g grated Pecorino Romano or parmesan, to serve

Cut the guanciale or pancetta into 5 mm slices and then 1 cm batons.  Whilst the rigatoni is boiling, place the guanciale in a frying pan over a high heat and fry until fiercely smoking and just starting to colour (it will release plenty of fat, which makes the sauce).  Take the pan off the heat for a few moments (for safety’s sake), add the chilli flakes followed by the tomato sauce, 2 tablespoons of the cooking water and the black pepper.  Bring back to simmering, add the drained pasta and serve with the grated cheese on the side.

Tomato sauce
Ingredients (for 600ml sauce)
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
6 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
a small pinch of crushed chilli flakes
500 g ripe vine tomatoes, chopped
500 g tinned tomatoes, chopped or crushed
1/2 rounded tsp fine sea salt

Fry the garlic in the oil until it just begins to colour, then add the chilli flakes, then the tomatoes and salt along with a few grinds of black pepper.  Cook at a brisk simmer until thickened – about an hour.

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