Pasta Dishes/ Sauces

Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana

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Looking for a new tomato sauce for Sunday dinner?  Then try our delicious Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana!  It is a thick, rich, and savory tomato sauce that is made with 6 ingredients (not including water or salt) and served over rigatoni pasta. 

This tomato sauce is so easy and so simple to make, you’ll wonder why you haven’t made it, yet. 


Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana is a pasta dish we love to make on Sundays and especially during the fall and winter months.  

A great dish to serve family and friends.  It presents itself as an elegant pasta dish and everyone will think you worked all day to make this sauce.  



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Amatriciana Sauce is exquisite and different from our other tomato sauces such as our Classic Bolognese Sauce or Braciole Sauce or our Mom’s Quick Marinara Sauce.  

A classic Roman dish and one you can positively walk into any trattoria in Rome, Italy, and find this dish on their menu.  Rigatoni all’ amatriciana is made with lots of onions, Italian imported peeled tomatoes, chopped pancetta, and pepper flakes.

These basic ingredients are what make this tomato sauce very unique. 

With only a few minutes to prep, this tomato sauce gets its rich, savory flavors from slow cooking it for at least 1 hour.  But, more importantly, it’s flavors come from the infusion of sweet onions, smoky flavored pancetta, and a spicy kick from the pepper flakes.

All these simple ingredients combined with the Italian imported sweet plump tomatoes, make this sauce SO flavorful and intensely delicious!  It’s truly amazing!

No need to add any salt; at least we don’t feel the need to add salt since the salty pancetta gives enough sodium to the sauce.  But if you prefer, go ahead and add some to the sauce. 



Rigatoni all'Amatriciana by


Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana is so good and so flavorful, you’ll want to scoop up every bit of the sauce and enjoy eating it to the last drop!  Trust me on this one… 

This tomato sauce is a tried and true recipe and one of our all-time favorites.

Our friends have been waiting patiently for this recipe and I’m so glad to finally take some photos and post them.  πŸ™‚

Some Great Tips!

  • Toss in some butter into the pasta after it is drained and before it gets served; it adds a rich and creamy base to the pasta and will complement the tomato sauce on top. 

  • If the sauce gets too thick, you can easily add some additional water. 

  • Also, this sauce is best paired with large kinds of pasta such as Rigatoni, Penne, and Ziti.



Rigatoni all' Amatriciana by


My husband is the one who enjoys making this sauce.  He is such a good guy, and loves to give me a break from cooking on Sundays – gotta love him!

If you have never tried making homemade Rigatoni all’ Amatriciana before; then we highly recommend trying this one!





Yield: 6 servings

Rigatoni all'Amatriciana

Rigatoni all'Amatriciana

Rigatoni all' Amatriciana is a thick, rich, and savory tomato sauce that is served over rigatoni pasta. This spectacular tomato sauce is easily made with just 6 ingredients (not including salt or water). A delicious sauce with powerful flavors that will explode inside your mouth with every bite!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 extra-large onion- finely chopped
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 4-ounces chopped pancetta
  • 1 (35-ounce) can Italian Imported peeled tomatoes ( I used Cento)
  • 5 large fresh basil leaves, and extra for garnish
  • 1 cup of water, and extra if needed
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 pound Rigatoni pasta
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, at the table


  1. In a large heavy-bottom saucepan, heat olive oil and add in the chopped onion, crushed red pepper flakes, and fresh basil. Turn down the heat to the lowest and simmer until the onion is softened and golden color, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, in a small saucepan, add the pancetta and cook the pancetta on low heat for about 3 minutes until it's fully cooked and brown. Transfer only the cooked pancetta to the onions, and discard the excess fat left in the pan.
  3. Next, open the can of peeled tomatoes and pour them into a blender to puree for a few seconds. Then pour the pureed tomatoes into the large heavy saucepan already with the onions and cooked pancetta mixture. Stir in the water, and cover with a lid.
  4. Simmer the sauce on the lowest heat, for 1 hour, UNCOVERED, and occasionally stirring every so often. The sauce will thicken as it slowly cooks. Turn off the heat, give it a last stir and keep covered. Taste the sauce, if you prefer, you can season with some salt, to taste.
  5. Fill a large pot with 3/4 water and bring to a full boil ( over high heat) add 2 tsp. of salt. Toss in the rigatoni pasta and cook according to the directions on the box, or until it's al-dente. Drain. Return the pasta back to its pot. Add 3 tablespoons of butter to the pasta. Stir rigatoni until the butter completely melts. Now it's ready to serve.
  6. Ladle each dish with some Rigatoni pasta, then ladle some Amatriciana sauce on top. Serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table.
  7. Serves 4 to 6


Always keep some extra fresh basil leaves on the side to chop them and use them as garnish. Garnishing with a fresh chopped basil always adds a special element to this dish as well as other pasta dishes. Sprinkle a few on top of each dish before serving.
While simmering the sauce, if the sauce gets too thick, just add a little more water. Store leftover Amatriciana sauce up to 3 days in the refrigerator or freeze up to 1 month.



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That’s it friends!  If you have any questions about our recipe, ask away!

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Happy and Healthy Cooking! πŸ™‚

Thanks for stopping by!

Anna and Liz  

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  • Reply
    October 23, 2020 at 11:35 am

    I love the sound of the pancetta in this recipe. Sounds delicious and I am definitely in the mood for pasta right now!

    • Reply
      2 Sisters Recipes
      October 23, 2020 at 1:21 pm

      This is such a delicious dish and it’s so worth making it…I know your family will love it!
      Thanks Susan for the lovely comment. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    October 21, 2020 at 9:11 am

    One of my favorite classics. Your photos look like I could grab my fork and take a bite.

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      October 22, 2020 at 10:35 am

      Aw, you are so sweet Karen! Thanks so much. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    August 30, 2019 at 1:51 am

    Made this DELICIOUS recipe! I didn’t know if I was supposed to use the juice in the tomato can, so I did to be safe. It made the sauce very thin so I simmered about 20 minutes extra. Sauce still thin-ish so I would not use all the juice next time. It is wonderful! Family LOVED it!
    Me too. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      by Anna and Liz
      August 30, 2019 at 2:51 pm

      HI Tracy!! So happy to hear your family loved our recipe! We always toss in the peeled tomatoes with it’s juice into the blender, especially if its the Cento brand. However, next time you make this recipe, try simmering the sauce on low heat uncovered for the first half hour and see if the sauce will thicken. It should do the trick. And if it gets too thick, you can always add in a small amount of water. I hope this helps! Thanks again for the lovely comment! πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    2 Sisters Recipes
    May 20, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    Thank you Karen! So glad you enjoy this as much as we do!
    Have a great weekend!

  • Reply
    Karen (Back Road Journal)
    May 20, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Looks delicious…pancetta gives this sauce such a distinctive flavor. Amatriciana sauce is a favorite in our home.

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