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The amatriciana pasta is one of the many classic Italian pasta dishes. Like Italian cuisine in general, it is simple, made from a few quality ingredients, and definitely delicious.

As Italian cuisine relies heavily on simplicity, all the ingredients of any traditional dish tend to be more or less essential to the success of that dish. Meat products, for example, are often used to bring texture and taste to the rest of the dish. Only small amounts are used to spice up the dish, and that is their entire purpose. That is why it is difficult to find products to replace meat in dishes like spaghetti all’Amatriciana or alla Carbonara. With this recipe, however, you can make a good vegetarian version using vegan tofu bacon. While maybe not exactly like the original, it’s tasty and worth it for being completely meatless!


The recipe to make tofu vegan bacon can be found here. We used marinated tofu and it will make your job much easier. Unfortunately, marinated tofu is not so widespread, so in case you can’t find it in your country, you will need to use liquid smoke.

The history of the original amatriciana pasta

Amatriciana pasta is made with the amatriciana sauce, also called matriciana in the dialect of Rome. The original ingredients are pork cheek (guanciale), tomato sauce, pecorino romano cheese, chili, and white wine. In Italy, many people usually replace pork cheek with bacon (btw, most chefs wouldn’t approve of this change).

This pasta dish comes from Amatriciana, a small town in the province of Rieti, in Lazio. History has it that the dish became popular after the First World War, and particularly after the recipe appeared in a book by Ada Boni, published in 1927. We cannot exclude that the recipe already existed before but there are not many references to the amatriciana pasta before the publication of the book.

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Ingredients

The ingredients for the amatriciana pasta dish are, as mentioned above, very simple: spaghetti, tomato sauce, pork cheek, pecorino cheese, chili, and some white wine. In this recipe, we replaced the pork cheese with tofu vegan bacon in order to make the dish vegetarian. The vegan bacon might taste slightly stronger than bacon, so we highly recommend you adjust the amount of soy sauce at your preference when making the bacon. All the rest of the steps are the same as in the traditional amatriciana pasta.

Spaghetti is considered to be the best (and almost only) type of pasta to use with the amatriciana sauce!

To make the dish fully vegan, you will just need to replace the pecorino cheese with a vegan cheese that resembles the taste of pecorino. Nothing more is required.


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4.9 from 13 votes

Amatriciana-style vegetarian pasta

Difficulty: Beginner Prep Time 10 min Cook Time 15 min Total Time 25 mins Servings: 4 Best Season: Suitable throughout the year

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prepare the vegan bacon according to the recipe. Add some olive oil to a pan over high heat. Add the cooked pieces of bacon and add the white wine. Let it evaporate.

  2. Remove the tofu bacon from the pan but leave any oil. Add the tomatoes into the pan and squish them while cooking. Add salt and some chili flakes (not much). Cook for 10 minutes over medium-low heat.

    The tofu bacon and pecorino are quite salty so don't go overboard with the salt.
  3. In the meanwhile, in a separate pot, bring water to a boil and cook the spaghetti.Β 

  4. When the ten minutes have passed, add the tofu bacon to the tomato sauce and mix.

  5. When the spaghetti are done, drain them and add the directly into the pan with the sauce. Mix rapidly and serve with grated pecorino romano cheese.

Keywords: amatriciana dish, amatriciana pasta, amatriciana pasta dish, amatriciana recipe, italian amatriciana recipe, vegan amatriciana, vegetarian amatriciana

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  1. Kelsey Smith

    This is one of my favorite meals.

  2. Jamie

    This is such a satisfying dinner for the family! Love it!

  3. Lilly

    Such a great recipe!!

  4. Brianna May

    Delicious!

  5. Audrey

    I can’t wait to try this for meatless Monday!

  6. Serena

    I’m such a pasta lover and I love that this is vegetarian! Yum!

  7. Linda Spatig

    I love the use of whole tomatoes! It makes it so much more fresh. Great recipe thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  8. Addie

    Total comfort food! So yummy.

  9. Chef Dennis

    Yum! This Amatriciana-style pasta will be our new favorite!

  10. Jeannie

    Always learning pasta recipes from your site, this one looks good and delicious! Excited to try

  11. Bobbie

    So informative! Great recipe with such detail.

  12. Gina Abernathy

    Such a great dish! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Emily Flint

    Thanks for the history lesson and the vegetarian alternatives! I just love learning about and try recipes from around the world. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Lucia De Rosa

    mmmh it seems incredibly good! Love the vegan version, for sure I will try!

    • Gianluca

      Let us know if you make it πŸ˜€

  15. mihaela |https://theworldisanoyster.com/

    I love a genuine Italian pasta recipe, and this one is just beautiful! Simple, healthy and inviting; I’ll surely make it once I get the tofu bacon!

    • Gianluca

      Let us know if you make it πŸ˜€

  16. Leslie

    That looks so delicous! I’m a sucker for any kind of pasta and now I think I may give this a try tonight. Thank you for sharing.

    • Gianluca

      Let us know if you make it πŸ˜€

  1. Kelsey Smith

    This is one of my favorite meals.

  2. Jamie

    This is such a satisfying dinner for the family! Love it!

  3. Lilly

    Such a great recipe!!

  4. Brianna May

    Delicious!

  5. Audrey

    I can’t wait to try this for meatless Monday!

  6. Serena

    I’m such a pasta lover and I love that this is vegetarian! Yum!

  7. Linda Spatig

    I love the use of whole tomatoes! It makes it so much more fresh. Great recipe thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

  8. Addie

    Total comfort food! So yummy.

  9. Chef Dennis

    Yum! This Amatriciana-style pasta will be our new favorite!

  10. Jeannie

    Always learning pasta recipes from your site, this one looks good and delicious! Excited to try

  11. Bobbie

    So informative! Great recipe with such detail.

  12. Gina Abernathy

    Such a great dish! Thanks for sharing.

  13. Emily Flint

    Thanks for the history lesson and the vegetarian alternatives! I just love learning about and try recipes from around the world. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Lucia De Rosa

    mmmh it seems incredibly good! Love the vegan version, for sure I will try!

    • Gianluca

      Let us know if you make it πŸ˜€

  15. mihaela |https://theworldisanoyster.com/

    I love a genuine Italian pasta recipe, and this one is just beautiful! Simple, healthy and inviting; I’ll surely make it once I get the tofu bacon!

    • Gianluca

      Let us know if you make it πŸ˜€

  16. Leslie

    That looks so delicous! I’m a sucker for any kind of pasta and now I think I may give this a try tonight. Thank you for sharing.

    • Gianluca

      Let us know if you make it πŸ˜€

    Ruoka on valmis