5 Pasta Recipes Every True Italian Should Know

Foreign guests at home who are clamoring for a carbonara? Or maybe a nice plate of spicy spaghetti at midnight in a friend’s house in New York or Amsterdam? Here are five of the most famous Italian recipes, symbols of Italy’s pasta cult, to challenge you and test if you are a true master of the art of pasta and sauces.


Serves 4

400g of penne

2 fresh or dried chili peppers

2 cloves of garlic

400g ripe fresh or canned tomatoes

100g pecorino cheese

Salt and pepper

Fresh parsley

Extra virgin olive oil

Crush the garlic and fry it in a pan with the olive oil and chopped chilies. Peel the fresh tomatoes, after scalding them in boiling water for 1 minute, remove the seeds and chop them, or use canned tomatoes and add them to the pan, cook them until the liquid is reduced. Cook the pasta until it is al dente and tip it into the pan, add fresh parsley and the cheese. Serve immediately.


Every Italian has eaten this, especially during their university years. This is a “sophisticated” version.

Serves 4

350g of pasta

160g can of tuna in oil

1 clove of garlic

1 hot pepper

300g of cherry tomatoes

Extra virgin olive oil

Fresh basil

Salt and pepper

Thoroughly drain the oil from the tuna, crush the garlic and cut the tomatoes in half. Meanwhile, cook the pasta and sauté the garlic (which you can remove when browned), hot peppers, tomatoes and half of the basil. When the pasta is almost ready, add the tuna to the pan. Drain the pasta and tip it into the pan, stirring well. Serve and add fresh basil leaves.


Serves 4

400g of thick spaghetti or macaroni

200g of guanciale

Extra virgin olive oil

100g of pecorino romano cheese


Chop the guanciale into regular pieces and brown in a little oil. Cook the pasta until al dente, then drain it and put it in the pan with the nicely browned guanciale, stir in the cheese and a little of the pasta water. Season with pepper.


Serves 4

400g spaghetti

100g guanciale di Amatrice

100g of Amatrice pecorino

Extra virgin olive oil

A little white wine

400g of canned or fresh San Marzano tomatoes

Chili pepper


Cut the guanciale into small, regular pieces and let it brown in a pan with the oil and whole chili, adding a little wine at the end. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside and keep warm. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, then drain. Chop and skin the fresh tomatoes or chop the canned tomatoes into small pieces and put them in the pan, add salt and reduce the liquid. Remove the hot pepper and put the guanciale back in the pan. Put the drained pasta in a bowl and season with the cheese. Add the tomato sauce and guanciale. Serve immediately.


Serves 4

400g spaghetti, linguine or other pasta

4 eggs

100g guanciale

100g grated pecorino


Extra virgin olive oil

Cook the pasta in salted water. Chop the guanciale into even pieces and brown slowly in a pan with the extra virgin olive oil. Take the eggs (which must be at room temperature) and beat them in a bowl with the pepper and pecorino. Drain the pasta when it is al dente, putting aside 1 cup of the cooking water. Pour the spaghetti into the pan, stir well and then pour everything into the bowl, stirring well and adding the cooking water if necessary. Serve immediately adding more pepper and grated cheese.