Photo of Spaghetti Amatriciana by WW

Spaghetti Amatriciana

Total Time
27 min
15 min
12 min
Amatriciana is a spicy red sauce with a rich base flavored with pork. It was originally conceived in Amatrice, Italy, an area known well for pecorina cheese. Our version uses reduced-fat bacon to impart the classic pork flavor. The bacon is crisped in a pan and removed so the rendered fat can provide the oil to saute the vegetable ingredients. The crispy bacon is then returned to the dish for an added layer of flavor and texture. This dish can be prepared in under 30 minutes and pairs well with a simple green salad and some crusty warm bread. You can also make it a full meal in one dish by adding some spinach or kale to wilt with the warm pasta. The heat of the sauce is from red pepper flakes and is easily adjusted to accommodate sensitive eaters.


Uncooked whole wheat spaghetti

8 oz

Table salt

tsp, or to taste (for cooking pasta)

Olive oil

1 tsp

Uncooked reduced fat bacon

6 slice(s)


1 large, finely diced

Canned diced tomatoes

2 cup(s)

Red pepper flakes

¼ tsp

Table salt

tsp, or to taste

Black pepper

tsp, or to taste


  1. Cook spaghetti in salted water until al dente; reserve 1/4 cup of cooking water and then drain pasta.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cook bacon, flipping once, until crisp; remove from pan and set aside. Increase heat to medium-high and add onion; cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Crumble bacon into pan and add tomatoes and red pepper flakes; toss to mix and coat.
  3. Add pasta and reserved pasta cooking water to tomato sauce; toss to coat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Yields about 1 1/2 cups per serving.


Serve with fresh chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.