Here, the magnificent guanciale (pork jowl) adds depth, flavour and punch to this spicy classic. Bigoli is a type of pasta made with water and hard durum wheat flour. It’s particularly popular in Rome and looks like a thick spaghetti and is perfect for absorbing sauce. You could also use Bucatini which is long and hollow like a pasta straw and like Bigoli is made with water and hard durum wheat flour. If you’ve never tried it this is your golden opportunity. Whichever pasta you decide on this is a satisfying and comforting meal.

Recipe by BMeX Group Executive Chef Kayle Burns, featured in Calgary Eats Cookbook

Bigoli all' Amatriciana

Servings 4


  • 6 oz (170g) guanciale, diced
  • olive oil optional
  • 2 large garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 tsp red chili flakes
  • 2 cups San Marzano passata
  • 1 lb (0.45kg) bucatini pasta
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino cheese, grated or shaved
  • crusty bread, sliced, to serve


  • Heat a large frying pan over medium heat, add the guanciale and cook for about 5 minutes, or until golden brown. If the guanciale is on the lean side, add a splash of olive oil. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
  • In the same pan with the fat, add garlic and chili flakes and sauté for 1 - 2 minutes over medium heat, until fragrant. Add passata, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add bucatini and cook for 10 minutes, until it’s still firm and about 80% cooked. Drain, then add pasta to sauce and cook for another 5 minutes, or until it’s al dente. Transfer pasta to a serving platter and garnish with pecorino and crispy guanciale. Serve with a rustic red wine and crusty bread.