Pasta Dishes/ Sauces

Rigatoni all’Amatriciana

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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) chopped pancetta, Italian imported peeled tomatoes, fresh basil, extra virgin olive oil, onion, and crushed red pepper flakes.  Amatriciana sauce is so easy and so simple, you won’t believe it until you make it for the first time! Then, you’ll start to realize how did you EVER live without this dish!

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This is a pasta dish we love to make on Sundays. Our family and friends have been waiting patiently for this recipe for some time and I finally got around to taking photos and posting it.  🙂

Rigatoni all’Amatriciana is the perfect dish to serve to family and friends as an easy Sunday dinner!  This tomato sauce (known as Amatriciana) is one of our all time favorites, and something my husband enjoys making often. (He is such a good guy, and gives me break from cooking on Sundays) – gotta love him!

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

It’s primarily the Italian imported peeled tomatoes cooked with onions, pancetta and pepper flakes, that makes this sauce stand out from all the others.

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!

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

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

Rigatoni all'Amatriciana by

Best Tips: Toss in some butter into the drained pasta before it gets served; it adds a rich and creamy base to the pasta and compliments the tomato sauce on top.  Also, this sauce is best paired with large size pastas such as: Rigatoni, Penne, and Ziti.

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

Rigatoni all'Amatriciana
Recipe type: Dinner
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 6 servings
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!
  • ⅔ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 extra-large onion- finely chopped
  • ¼ 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 sauce pan, 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 soften and golden color, about 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, in a small sauce pan, add the pancetta and cook the pancetta on low heat for about 3 minutes until its 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 into a blender to puree for a few seconds. Then pour the pureed tomatoes into the large heavy sauce pan already with the onions and cooked pancetta mixture. Stir in the water, and cover with a lid.
  4. Simmer the sauce on lowest heat, for 1 hour, 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 ¾ 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 its 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.

 Don’t forget to PIN it to your ‘Dinner Board’ and  THANKS for Sharing!!

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xo Anna and Liz

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  • 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.

  • 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!

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