This typically Roman pasta dish was traditionally made with guanciale, but since that ingredient used to be very hard to find outside of Italy, and the Lazio region in particular, pancetta has became a common substitute. This is changing and guanciale can now be found at certain specialty food stores here in America. While you can still make a great Amatriciana with pancetta, if you are able to find guanciale, you should try using it at least once.
Made from cured pork jowl, guanciale is softer and has a higher ratio of fat than pancetta, resulting in a richer sauce. That being said, with either ingredient it is still my favorite pasta dish. So no need to get too caught up in being “traditional”.Print