It is one of the most popular dishes of the Italian tradition. In Rome, people still discuss whether you  can use bacon instead of pork cheek, if parmesan cheese is allowed or only pecorino, if you should use onions (many reject them) and wine (many are opposed), which is the right kind of pasta… So don’t worry: even if you don’t cook a “real” amatriciana, you will lick your fingers anyways and you will certainly find people who say that yours is the best amatriciana ever.
Any type of pasta will do provided it is durum wheat and non-small cut, such as spaghetti, fettuccine, bucatini, rigatoni, mezze maniche and the like.


  • 400 gr of spaghetti
  • 120 grams of pork cheek cut into strips (otherwise use bacon, but not smoked)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • half a medium sized onion, finely chopped
  • half a coffee cup of dry white wine
  • 400 grams of peeled tomatoes (canned are fine)
  • 80 grams of grated pecorino cheese
  • a little bit of red pepper, if you like it


  1. Roast in a pan the pieces of pork cheek with oil, don’t toast them
  2. Add the wine, bring to a boil and let it soften for 2 minutes, then drain the cheek and keep it warm
  3. In the cooking juices fry the onion
  4. Add the tomatoes (with the red pepper, if you want) and cook for 10 minutes
  5. Add the pork cheek, mix well and add salt
  6. Drain the pasta al dente, pour into the pan and toss it into the sauce over high heat for just 1 minute
  7. Place in dishes and sprinkle each portion with a lot of pecorino cheese
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