Spaghetti Matrichana

Tomatoes simmered with onion, garlic, and bacon, and spiced up with plenty of black pepper – a flavorful, easy-to-make pasta sauce perfect for a weeknight. 

On Friday mornings, I take Spanish lessons with my sweet friend Lynda. Ligia, our fantastic, patient, Spanish teacher, is also a great cook and our conversations often turn to cooking. This recipe is one of many of her favorites and she wanted to make it for us. So last week after Spanish class we had a little cooking class and she taught us how to make this simple, but delicious pasta sauce.

Espagueti a la matrichana/Spaghetti all’Amatriciana is often made with pancetta, but Ligia prefers to make it with peppered bacon. She also likes her bacon very crisp and cooks it in the microwave to get it extra crispy. If tomatoes are in season, she likes to use fresh tomatoes.

Thanks Ligia for sharing this recipe. I can see why it’s one of your favorites. My family loved it too.

Spaghetti Matrichana

Spaghetti Matrichana


  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 28 oz cans diced tomatoes
  • Salt and pepper to taste (you want a strong pepper flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon, optional
  • 8 oz slice bacon*, fried crisp and crumbled
  • 1 lb spaghetti, cooked according to package directions


In a medium frying pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil until softened and browned. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper, and chicken bouillion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer on low heat for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes crush the tomatoes with a potato masher. Add crumbled bacon and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over spaghetti.

*Ligia prefers to use peppered bacon in this recipe.

More pasta recipes your might like:

Linguine in Lemon Cream Sauce, Barbara Bakes
Light Creamy Pesto Ravioli, Barbara Bakes
Late Night Pasta, Tracey’s Culinary Adventures
Tex-Mex Chicken & White Cheddar Spaghetti, Lauren’s Latest
Whole Wheat Spaghetti with a Slow Simmered Meat Sauce, For the Love of Cooking

Don't miss out on a new recipe. Subscribe to Barbara Bakes by Email

Some of the links in my posts may be “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Thank you for supporting Barbara Bakes when you shop!

If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram or Twitter with #BarbaraBakes.


    Leave a Comment:

  1. says

    That is awesome! I wish I could speak another language. My high school French is all but gone now. I was able to pick out words when I went to Paris. I think it is great to take lessons from a frienc and enjoy the time together. I can’t wait to try this recipe. I am actually trying to grow tomatoes this year so many I will have fresh ones to use! Bacon makes everything tasty. Hubby has the chicken with bacon rub on his list for me to try!

    • says

      I’ve been taking lessons for a couple of years now, but I don’t practice and I don’t study much, so I’m a slow learner. I do enjoy it though.

  2. says

    A most delightful story with an exceptional recipe, perfect! Cooking and culture are all intertwined with language making this a most appealing post! One of my favorites, Barb, well done!

  3. says

    There is nothing like a home-cooked pasta sauce from someone who can make it in their sleep, holding a 20lb anvil, if need be! How lucky you both are! I’ve made Amatriciana before, but I’m sure it’s not even close to hers. I have to try her recipe with the peppered bacon! It looks absolutely delicious!

  4. says

    She is so cute! I love this sauce – bacon does make anything taste better, but this seriously sounds like a flavorful sauce. Plus it’s easy so even better! I have started trying to learn French….so I can live in the French countryside one of these days:-).

    • says

      Hi Claire! I’m not a very good Spanish student. I don’t study. What I really need is to spend a month in Mexico! Maybe a month on Cozumel would do the trick?!?

  5. says

    I make a version of this and love the dish. I’m sure the peppered bacon would be a wonderful thing to try. How nice to learn new foods. I love when someone takes the time to teach me.

  6. says

    What a fantastic dish–and how much fun must that class have been! My husband loves anything with bacon it in–and spaghetti is always a top-requested meal by my little boy–so we’ll have to give this recipe a try!