Main Dish

Penne all' Amatriciana

Colagrossi Wines

7755 Bell Road
Windsor, CA 95492

Named for Amatrice, a town northeast of Rome, this pasta is traditionally served with long noodles like bucatini, but we like how shorter penne captures the spicy, meaty bits of sauce inside the tubes.

  • 1 can (28 ounces) peeled tomatoes with juices, crushed by hand
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup minced yellow onions
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 pound guanciale, pancetta or smoked bacon, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, crushed
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 small can tomato paste
  • 1 cup white wine
  • Sugar, to taste (optional)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 3/4 pound penne or bucatini
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese


In a blender, puree the tomatoes with juices; set aside. 

In a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions, garlic, guanciale, red pepper flakes and water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the water is evaporated and the fat begins to render, 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring often, until starting to brown, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring often, until reduced by half, 5 to 8 minutes.

Add the reserved tomato puree and bring to a boil. Partially cover the pot, reduce the heat and simmer until the guanciale is tender and the flavors have melded, 40 to 45 minutes. Taste and add sugar, if needed, and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

When the sauce is almost done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain the pasta.

Add the pasta to the sauce and toss to coat. Top with the Pecorino Romano and serve. Mangia!

MAKE AHEAD: The sauce can be made up to 4 days in advance. Let cool, then refrigerate until cold. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to use.

Colagrossi Wines

7755 Bell Road
Windsor, CA 95492