Bucatini alla Matriciana: the original Roman recipe

Boast of Roman food tradition: Bucatini alla Amatriciana

Bucatini alla Amatriciana: the original Roman recipe

If you already visit Rome you probably remember the delicious pasta bucatini alla amatriciana.
There are many version of this dish, one is connected to the legend of the origins of the recipe. Someone says that this recipe was born in Amatrice, a small town on the border with Abruzzo. Coding on many versions of Amatriciana, please remind that most important tricks to make a perfect copycat of the recipe are three.

  • Quality of basic ingredients
  • Cooking process
  • Love


The original recipe was called matriciana and not amatriciana. As evidence, the inhabitants of Amatrice were called “Matriciani”, without the A. Consequently also the famous pasta got the name of “Matriciana”, with time for a linguistic phenomenon has become amatriciana.

This dish was the main meal of the numerous pastors. It was originally without the tomato and called pasta alla “Gricia.” The shepherds carried in their backpacks pieces of cheese, black pepper-bags, dry pasta, guanciale, and lard. Amatriciana style is most popular in Rome, whereas you’d remember, people really like strong salty flavors.

Ingredients for 4 people

  • 400 grams of bucatini pasta made of durum wheat. Recommended Garofalo pasta “bucatino”
  • 250 grams of guanciale (do not use the bacon because it’s pork belly and alters the flavor). The guanciale is pork cheak, a nobler and more delicate flavor .This essential ingredient for the preparation of matriciana, without it, it is not a real matriciana at the Roman style.
  • 500 grams of fresh tomato (casalino variety) alternatively tomatoes in the can. Recommended a box of tomatoes Graziella or San Marzano or De Cecco tomatoes.
  • 150 grams of pecorino romano, salty and slightly spicy. Remember that real pecorino romano is signed with a label DOP and have black skin.
  • 2 teaspoon of salt to the dough.


Firstly :

cut the slices of guanciale into strips of amateur long, uniform and of the same thickness. (Do not cut the guanciale into cubes).


boil 2/3 minutes the tomatoes casalini into boiling water. After, peel away the central part and the seeds,and place them in a bowl  together with their juice. Check if the taste is too acid. In case add 1 tablespoon of sugar.


put the meat in a large frying pan. Heat it over high heat.  Reduce the heat and fry the bacon for a couple of minutes. As soon as you see camel-colored guanciale you remove the pan from the fire, then add tomatoes.
Cook the sauce for about 8 minutes, turning occasionally, until it reaches the right degree of density and fluidity. In the meanwhile, boils pasta in a BIG amount of water. read on the pasta package, if you read 12 minutes cooking time, your remove pasta from the water 2 minutes before. We suggest you do not waste all the boiling water, take pasta away from the water with a spaghetti spoon, so you can save the water in case your sauce would result too sticky.grate the  pecorino cheese.

In the end :

pour the bucatini into the pan adding, little by little grated pecorino. Add a pinch on the surface of pecorino cheese and serve hot.

Perfect wine combination with Bucatini alla Amatriciana : Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or Syrah.