Amatriciana Sauce

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Originating in a region of central Italy from a town known as Amatrice located near the Adriatic Sea coast, this sauce is a type of pasta sauce known for its meaty contents. Two versions of this sauce exist, however the second sauce became known as Alla Gricia to separate the distinctive quality of each.

The traditional Amarticiana Sauce will typically include tomatoes combined with pork meat sautéed in olive oil, and seasonings which generally are minced onions, garlic if desired, a small amount of ground Chile pepper, and a pinch of black pepper. The recipe when made in the manner of a true Amatrice sauce, is served with cured pork meat from the cheek of the pig, which is referred to as guanciale. However, it is common to find the Amatriciana Sauce prepared with the Italian bacon known as pancetta, or to use other pork substitutes when preparing the sauce outside of Italy due to limited access to guanciale or pancetta. Pork substitutes such as Canadian bacon, may be used when necessary in an attempt to keep the flavor of sauce as close to the original as possible. The second sauce from Amatrice is an Alla grica sauce, which is considered as the "white" version of Amatriciana. Both sauces are prepared in the same manner using the same ingredients except the Alla grica sauce does not contain any tomatoes and therefore, does not have the dark red coloring, but instead is white in color. Some of the variations of these sauces have changed over the years and may include a cheese, such as Romano, as an additional ingredient to enhance the flavors.

Both sauces go well as a topping for strand pasta such as spaghetti. However, in traditional Amatrice cooking the pastas most often used include bucatini, perciatelli or fresh ravioli.

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