Pasta amatriciana

Total Time
37 min
11 min
26 min
Amatriciana is a classic Italian tomato sauce well-known for its smoky taste and zesty bite. Neither flavor is lacking in this healthy version. This recipe gets its spice from red pepper flakes and lots of black pepper, and smokiness from Canadian bacon instead of guanciale. First the bacon is cooked in a big saucepan, then the onion and garlic are softened and infused with those tasty bits that the bacon leaves behind. All you have left to do is stir in the tomatoes, oregano, and seasonings, and let reduce for just 5 minutes before it's ready to go. It's one of the easiest, tastiest weeknight pasta sauces you'll ever make.


Olive oil

2 tsp

Uncooked Canadian bacon

1 slice(s), trimmed of all visible fat and chopped

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, chopped


1 medium clove(s), minced

Canned diced tomatoes

14½ oz

Dried oregano

½ tsp

Crushed red pepper flakes

½ tsp, to 1/4 teaspoon

Table salt

½ tsp

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground


¼ cup(s)

Uncooked whole wheat pasta

½ pound(s), spaghetti variety

Fresh parsley

1 Tbsp, fresh, chopped


  1. Heat the oil in a large nonstick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring frequently, until heated through, about 1 minute. Stir in the onion and garlic; cook, covered, shaking the pan occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, crushed red pepper, salt, ground pepper, and water; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, until the sauce is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, toss with the sauce, and sprinkle with the parsley. Yields about 1 1⁄4 cups per serving.