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Rigatoni all’Amatriciana

Pasta all’Amatriciana (or matriciana) is a typical dish of Roman trattorias and taverns but originally from the town of Amatrice, in the province of Rieti, Lazio. With peasant origins, this is cucina povera at its most delicious. 

Serves 4

  • 280g guanciale or good quality pancetta
  • 900g tomato passata or tinned San Marzano tomatoes
  • 3 finely chopped birds eye chillies, seeds removed
  • 10g Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 tablespoon salt or to taste
  • Ground peppercorns to taste
  • 500g fresh Rigatoni


  • 1. Cut off the rind on the skin of the guanciale and dice into roughly 0.5cm cubes.

  • 2. In a cold pan, add guanciale and set to a low-medium heat and cook until the fat turns clear and the edges begin to caramelise.
  • 3. Add chilli to guanciale fat. Cook until fragrant (1 minute), then add your passata or tinned San Marzano tomatoes.

  • 4. Bring up to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Cook on a medium-heat for 25 minutes.
  • 5. Place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil.
  • 6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then remove from heat.
  • 7. Drop Rigatoni in salted water and cook until al dente (2-3 minutes). 
  • 8. With tongs, transfer pasta to sauce ensuring you reserve some pasta water. 
  • 9. Slowly mix or toss pasta while adding Parmigiano Reggiano. 
  • 10. Continue to mix off the heat until the sauce thickens and pasta turns glossy - add pasta water if sauce becomes too thick.
  • 11. Let pasta rest in the pan for 1 minute. Check seasoning, then add a generous shaving of Parmigiano Reggiano before serving.


  • if you are using tinned tomatoes, pass them through a mouli or ricer. Squeeze all the tomato liquid out and discard the skins
  • if using dried pasta cook to packet instructions