Pasta Amatriciana

Pasta Amatriciana

I have no idea what “Amatraciana” actually means in real life, but in my house it means “the pasta dish that the Southern husband loves above all others”. Maybe because it is just a little bit tangy/spicy because it slow cooks with a lot of chopped onion and smashed garlic. Maybe because it includes a LOT of chopped Canadian bacon. Maybe because you simmer the whole thing in a deliriously amazing mixture of red wine and plum tomatoes with just a dash of sugar to take the edge off all the tangy stuff.

Well, whatever it is, I try and make it for him every once in a while just to show my undying love and devotion, and I always use the recipe from the Silver Palate Good Times Cookbook, because if you are going to make someone’s favorite pasta dish you should go right to the heart of cookbook heaven.

This recipe is simple but perfect, and here’s my best advice for this one: San Marzano canned plum tomatoes, and Jones Canadian Bacon. Trust me. That and a handful of really, really food fresh grated Parmesan cheese, and all is right with the world. The Silver Palate says “this is a splendid meal for the heartiest of appetites,” and I really couldn’t have said it better myself.  Make it for suppertime for someone you love very soon.

Pasta Amatriciana
Serves: 4
  • ⅓ cup olive oil
  • 4 medium yellow onions, peeled and chopped
  • 8 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped into one inch squares
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 4 cups drained canned plum tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • ¾ cup red wine
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound cooked pasta (I used ziti, but your choice!)
  • Grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Heat the oil in a medium saucepan over medium high heat. Add onions and saute for 10 minutes. Stir in bacon and garlic and saute for 5 minutes more.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, sugar and wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper and simmer uncovered for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with cooked pasta of your choice, sprinkled generously with Parmesan.



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  1. Kate says

    You had me salivating in the first paragraph! I am digging out the cookbook…I am making the grocery list! I can hardly wait.

  2. Joanne says

    You know, I totally used to know what amatriciana means. And now my memory is totally failing me. Typical.

    I do love love love this dish! And I need that cookbook. Why is it not in my life?

  3. Chiara says

    Pasta all'Amatriciana means pasta à la mode of Amatrice which is a tiny village near Rome: this is their typical dish and they are REALLY jealous of the recipe.
    But I've been following you for a while now and I can admit your interpretations of Italian recipes are not so far from the original :)

  4. PoetessWug says

    Yum! This looks like it might be right up my alley too, with the spiciness…and BACON!! :-) {Loved the doggie video too!}

  5. Boomdog02 says

    looks yummy, but the dish is classically and correctly made with guanciale, an uncured bacon (pancetta) made from the hog jowl. Not an easy ingredient to find, so bacon, and pancetta are acceptable subs…

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