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bucatini with meatballs in a cream coloured bowl, topped with fresh basil leaves

Bucatini all'Amatriciana and Meatballs

Try this quick and delicious pasta recipe with the famous Amatriciana sauce and the best tasting, juiciest meatballs!
5 from 3 votes
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Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bucatini all'amatriciana
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 638kcal


For the meatballs

  • 1 lbs ground beef or a combination of ground pork and beef
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil chopped
  • 1 tsp oregano dried
  • ¼ tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g/1/3 cup pancetta or thickly cut bacon cubed, rind cut off
  • 1 shallot or ½ onion chopped
  • 60ml/1/4 cup dry white wine or Vermouth
  • ½ tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 400g/14oz canned chopped tomatoes high quality
  • ¼ cup basil leaves chopped
  • 1 lbs bucatini
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan or Pecorino Romano


  • Combine all ingredients for the meatballs in a medium sized bowl, mix well and roll meatballs. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in a large pan, add the pancetta and cook over very low heat allowing the fat to render. Then add the chopped shallot and continue cooking for 5 minutes longer until the shallot is soft. Pour in the white wine and let it simmer, the liquid should reduce by a half.
  • Add chilli flakes and stir for a few seconds, then add canned chopped tomatoes or crushed tomatoes and basil, stir everything together and let it simmer on low heat for 10-15 minutes, season with salt to taste. Meanwhile cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • While pasta is cooking, brown the meatballs in a separate pan over medium heat for 7-10 minutes. They don't have to be cooked all the way through, just browned.
  • Remove the meatballs from the pan add them to the tomato sauce, cover with a lid to allow the meatball to finish cooking for another 5 minutes.
  • Drain cooked pasta and gently toss it with the sauce and meatballs. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese or Pecorino Romano.


Calories: 638kcal | Carbohydrates: 63g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 29g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 93mg | Sodium: 1489mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 263IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 93mg | Iron: 4mg