Bucatini with Sweet Onion & Pancetta

Bucatini with Sweet Onions & Pancetta

When I was a kid, we used to go to this Italian restaurant that served your drinks in a mason jar with bucatini as a straw. My sister and I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Years have gone by, and I still think bucatini is cool. I mean, come on, it has a hole in it, and it has the best bite when it’s cooked properly. It’s just so much fun to eat.

Bucatini with Sweet Onions & Pancetta

So when I saw it on the menu at a restaurant in Chicago -we were there last month visiting friends – I knew I just had to order it. The dish itself was fairly simple. The sauce was comprised of pancetta, sweet onion and tomato, which was seasoned to perfection.

Bucatini with Sweet Onions & Pancetta

I knew I wanted to replicated it at home, so I double checked the menu’s description and then did a quick search of the dish. It turns out that it was based on a regional Italian speciality – Amatriciana sauce. The sauce commonly features guanciale, which is a little bit hard to come by in our area. The restaurant had substituted pancetta, so I did, too.

And, the recipe turned out just as great – maybe even better than – as the restaurant.

Bucatini with Sweet Onions & Pancetta

Bucatini with Sweet Onions & Pancetta

Bucatini with Sweet Onion & Pancetta

  • Author: Melissa Belanger
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x


  • 1 16-ounce package bucatini pasta
  • 8 ounces thinly sliced pancetta
  • 2 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 28-ounce can petite diced tomatoes
  • Grated pecorino romano cheese, for serving


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente in a large pot of salted water.
  2. In a large skillet, heat pancetta over medium-high heat. Partially rendering the fat – about 5 minutes.
  3. Add onion and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until fat has completely rendered from pancetta – about 10 minutes.
  4. Remove pancetta and transfer to a cutting board. Roughly chop before returning to pan.
  5. Add garlic and seasonings to pan, cooking for an additional minute.
  6. Add wine and allow it to cook off, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  7. Add tomatoes and simmer until pasta is cooked.
  8. Toss drained pasta with sauce and top with pecorino romano cheese when serving.


*You can substitute a heaping tablespoon of Italian herbs for the basil, parsley and oregano.


  • Calories: 0
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Sodium: 0 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Fiber: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg


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