Bucatini all’Amatriciana (Ahl-Amat-Tree-Chana; believe me – I had trouble pronouncing that one) is one of those pastas that is lesser seen on menus in Italian joints in America but it’s EVERYWHERE in Italy. Rome specifically. Like, even the airport was cooking this stuff up!
And can you blame them? It is, bar none, one of the best pastas I’ve ever had. Now that being said, like ANY recipe there’s no one specific way to make this dish as everyone has their own spin on it. <Ducks from the Nonnas with their rolling pins>
Like an Arrabbiata sauce, this dish packs a slightly spicy kick to it (although you can omit the spice) while being balanced out with some decadent pancetta (Italian bacon) and a rich, yet light, olive and pancetta oil-infused tomato sauce. Add to the fact that you use Bucatini/Perciatelli pasta for this, which is a thick, hollowed Spaghetti, and you have one of the most wonderful and FUN pastas to eat. Think of it as Spaghetti and Marinara but taken up an exciting, zesty, bacon-y and tube-like pasta notch.
My adaptation for the Instant Pot makes this Italian classic done QUICKLY, MAGNIFICENTLY and ALL ONE POT!
Here’s How I Made It!:
Start out by adding some olive oil to the pot and heat it up.
Once heated, add in some glorious diced pancetta (which is basically Italian bacon)
Stir it around in the oil for a few…
…until it really begins to simmer and become nice and cooked.
Once it begins to brown, crisp and get firmer, remove it with a slotted spoon…
…and place in a bowl. Set aside for later as the Pancetta will become even crispier as it sits out.
Now take an onion…
…dice it up…
…and add it to the remaining oil/pancetta grease in the pot.
Allow it to cook for a few minutes.
Now, we want to take a can of crushed tomatoes (use a good one like a San Marzano as it DOES make a difference)…
…as well as some garlic broth (I used Garlic Better Than Bouillon mixed with water).
If you can’t find garlic broth, chicken broth will do just fine.
Then add in some crushed red pepper flakes (this is a spicier sauce – but you can leave them out if you want it mild)…
…and stir everything together well.
Now we need to add our pasta! The most traditional kind to use is a Bucatini or Perciatelli (same thing and they are like a thick, hollowed spaghetti).
Break it over the pot (sacrilegious to some, but that’s the one way this is gonna fit in the pot – plus it makes for more portions!)…
…so that it looks like this.
Then smooth it out with a mixing spoon so the noodles are all as submerged as possible. Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, give everything a good stir. (If the noodles don’t feel 100% done yet and a bit al dente, that’s fine! They will be perfect shortly as it continues to cook in the pot with the heat)
Next, add in some grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese…
…as well as that Pancetta which will have become a beautiful color and just the right consistency as it sat out. BUT be sure to reserve some of the Pancetta for topping when plated.
I also like to drizzle on a little more olive oil.
Give everything a good toss in the pot until nice and combined.
Plate it up.
And then top it off with a quick drizzle of olive oil…
…some of that reserved pancetta…
…and PRESTO! A DARN fine Amatriciana!
Take some on the fork…
…and bring it to the mouth.
Sheer pasta heaven!
At the time this post was created, Pressure Luck was in sponsorship with and exclusively used Southeastern Mills products for broth and base ingredients
Instant Pot Bucatini all'Amatriciana
Oh how the Italians got it right with this one! Bucatini is a thick, hollow spaghetti already making it a winner in my book. But once you dress it in that spicy, bacon-y tomato sauce? O SOLE MIO!
- 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, divided (plus more for drizzling over plated portions, if desired)
- 10 oz of diced pancetta (usually in the deli/cheese section in most markets. You can use a thick, diced bacon instead if you cannot find this)
- 1 small yellow or red onion, diced
- 2 cups of garlic broth (I used 2 tsp of Garlic Better Than Bouillon+ 2 cups of water but you can also use Chicken Better Than Bouillon /chicken broth instead and it will still be great). NOTE: If using an 8qt pot, use 3 cups of broth instead of 2 which I used in the 6qt
- 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano for best results (NOTE: this brand of San Marzano tomatoes I use in the video is actually made in the US. I still suggest using crushed San Marzano and these will do if you can’t find the ones made in Italy since it tasted great and is a great, close second)
- 1/2 – 1 tsp hot red-pepper flakes (you can add more if you want it spicier or less for milder)
- 1 box (1 lb) of Bucatini or Perciatelli (if you absolutely cannot find the Bucatini/Perciatelli, which is ideal for this dish, you can use 1 lb of Spaghetti instead)
- 1/4 cup of grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (you can add a little more if you wish to thicken the sauce even more)
- Add 3 tbsp of the olive oil to the Instant Pot and hit “Sauté” and adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting. After 3 minutes of heating, add in the Pancetta and sauté for about 8 minutes until it begins to get browned and firm. Remove with a slotted spoon when done, place in a bowl and set aside for later but leave all the oil and juices from the Pancetta in the pot
- Add the onion to the pot and sauté in the oil/pancetta grease for 3 minutes. As the onions sweat, deglaze (scrape) the bottom of the pot to get up the sticky layer the Pancetta formed on it while cooking. The bottom should be nice and clear
- Pour in the crushed tomatoes, broth, and crushed red pepper flakes. Stir everything together well
- Break the Bucatini/Perciatelli in half (don’t curse me for doing this – it simply won’t fit otherwise), add it to the pot and smooth it out so it’s submerged in the sauce but DO NOT STIR!
- Secure the lid, hit “Keep Warm/Cancel” and then hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” High Pressure at 10 minutes for al dente (firmer, chewier) noodles and go 12 mins for softer noodles. (If using Spaghetti instead, go for 8 mins High Pressure). Quick release when done
- Stir the pasta up with the sauce so everything gets mixed together well (NOTE: If the pasta seems not totally done and the sauce a bit soupy, that will soon change)
- Add in the Pancetta (reserve some for topping) and grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan. Gently stir on and off for about 3-5 minutes until well combined as the pasta continues to heat. The sauce will thicken as this happens
- Lastly, add the remaining 1 tbsp of olive oil to the pasta, toss to coat and serve in bowls immediately. If desired, top with a little drizzle of olive oil, the reserved pancetta and more grated cheese
Want it spicier and a bit more unconventional? Add in about 2-4 tbsp of hot sauce in Step 3 (start with less and then you can always add more once finished!
If you don’t want it spicy at all, simply leave out the crushed red pepper flakes!
If pancetta isn’t available, I’ve used Wright Bacon Ends & Pieces, it comes in about 48 oz package, but so worth it. It freezes well, just make sure it is pretty much thawed when you are ready to eat it. And an added plus you can pressure cook it to zero minutes and quick release.
The only pasta I had for dinner was bucatini. So I googled bucatini instant pot and ended up here. The recipe seemed too simple to be fabulous, but guess what I actually had every ingredient on hand, so what the heck, give it a try. For the heat I threw in 1/16 Tsp Carolina Reaper powder from my garden. (Sounds hot, but for this number of servings is really nothing scary) I went with bacon, cuz I had it, hit Pressure Cook and awaited with anticipation. The result, at 10 minutes was just harder than perfect al dente, I threw in the bacon and cheese, stirred as ordered, tasted, added salt and pepper, AND SECRET INGREDIENT 2 Tsp Fish Sauce. (It brings the umami flavor of the bacon to new heights! Just sayin’) Stirred again, waited my obligatory 3 minutes, and ended up WITH THE SIMPLEST, COMPLEX TASTIN, AND ELEGANT MEAL I COULD SERVE CASUAL OR FORMAL.
THANK YOU SOOOOOO MUCH!