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Tobie Puttock’s recipe for Bucatini Amatriciana

Tobie Puttock
Article image for Tobie Puttock’s recipe for Bucatini Amatriciana


  • 350g bucatini or spaghetti
  • About 150g pancetta (or guanciale), thinly sliced and roughly sliced into batons
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 small Spanish onion, peeled and finely sliced
  • 1 red chilli, finely sliced
  • 500ml basic tomato sauce
  • 1 handful of picked flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Splash of chardonnay or other white wine
  • Best quality extra virgin olive oil
  • Pecorino for grating

Serves:  Four


  1. Get a large pot of water on for the pasta; bring it to the boil with enough salt in the water so that you can taste it.
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed pan and cook the pancetta (or guanciale) over a medium heat, the pancetta will release much of its fat so no oil is needed, once golden in color remove the pancetta from the pan using a slotted spoon and place onto a plate lined with kitchen paper.
  3. If there is an abundance of pancetta fat remaining in the pan you can discard some of it leaving enough to sauté the onions. Add the onion, garlic, chopped chili and the pancetta to the pan and reduce the heat a little and cook very gently over a low/medium heat so you don’t brown the onions or garlic, if you find that the ingredients have absorbed the fat and the pan is becoming dry add a little extra virgin olive oil to the pan to prevent the aromatics from burning.
  4. Once the onions are soft and transparent add the tomato sauce and the pancetta and stir with a wooden spoon to combine, gently simmer for 10-15 minutes.
  5. Cook the pasta until al dente, drain (reserving some of the water) and add to the pan with the sauce; toss the pasta with the sauce over a low heat. If the sauce looks dry you can add some of the water used for cooking the pasta. Remove from the heat and splash in some extra virgin olive oil, toss in a handful of the chopped parsley and carefully stir to combine.
  6. Serve immediately with some freshly grated pecorino cheese.
Tobie Puttock