Spicy Tomato Sauce with Pancetta

This sauce is also known as amatriciana. Use pancetta or the traditional choice for this dish, guanciale. The meat gives this simple sauce a rich flavor. If you buy the meat at an Italian market, have the butcher slice it for you, and then cut it into strips when you get home.

  • Yield: Makes 3 cups

Source: Martha Stewart Living, April 2010


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or guanciale sliced 1/8 inch thick and cut into 1/4-inch-wide strips
  • 1 small red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
  • 1 can (28 ounces) peeled plum tomatoes with juice, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt


  1. Heat oil in a heavy medium pot over medium heat. Cook pancetta, stirring often, until golden and fat has rendered, about 8 minutes. Add onion and red-pepper flakes, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 10 to 12 minutes.

  2. Stir in chopped tomatoes with juice, and add salt. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thick, about 25 minutes.

Cook's Notes

SERVING IDEA: Toss with pasta, such as spaghetti, bucatini, cavatelli, macaroni, orecchiette, or penne, and garnish with finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese. MAKE AHEAD: Sauce can be frozen for up to 1 month.


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