Search for Italy from the comfort of your kitchen with delicious Pasta Amatriciana

Travel shows have been on high rotation on our digital channels this last year as we have all been home bound and searching for an escape.  Our family escape to Italy may have been cancelled, but we lived it thru the eyes and tastebuds of Stanley Tucci’s Searching for Italy.  His tasty tour had us craving every bite. So, we are now on a mission to cook our way thru the regions starting with this tasty meal from Rome, Pasta Amatriciana.

After watching the show and taking notes, researching other pasta Amatriciana recipes and making my own, this is my version of this delicious dish.  It’s an easy cook with a huge payoff! The ingredients were simple to find, we bought the pancetta, olive oil, and Bucatini  at a local Italian grocer, Conte di Savoia, in Chicago’s Little Italy, the red pepper was grown in a friend’s garden who then gifted us a container of red pepper flakes, the basil we grow in our rooftop city-garden, and we always have a hunk of parmigiano reggiano in the fridge.

Let’s head into the cucina and make it!

   Stove top cooking Pasta Amatriciana


  • 2 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • ½ lb thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 28 oz can diced tomatoes
  • ½ cup grated parmigiano reggiano
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 lb Bucatini pasta
  • ¼ tsp Crushed red pepper (or more if you like it spicy hot)

Making it:

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and onion stirring until the pancetta is crisp and golden, about 6 minutes. Make a spot in the center of mixture and add tomato paste and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, about 1-2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and remove from heat.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally until al dente. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water.

Add pasta and ¼ cup of reserved water to the sauce and toss to coat over medium heat. Add more water as necessary to make sure the pasta is well coated.

Stir in the parmigiano reggiano and basil.

Serve immediately.

Pasta Amatriciana

Buon appetito!

Home cooked Pasta Amatriciana with wine


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