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PointsPlus Spaghetti Amatriciana

Staff Writer
Spaghetti Amatriciana

Spaghetti Amatriciana

What’s that? Think you can’t have pasta on a diet? Think again. Using reduced-fat bacon and whole-wheat spaghetti keeps the PointsPlus value for this recipe down, while retaining flavor.



  • 8 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti   
  • Salt, for cooking pasta, plus more to taste
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil   
  • 6 slices reduced-fat bacon   
  • 1 large onion, finely diced   
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes   
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes   
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Fresh basil, chopped, for serving (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese, grated, for serving (optional)


Bring a pot of water to boil over high heat. Salt the water until it tastes like the sea. Add the spaghetti, and cook until al dente. Reserve ¼ cup of cooking water and then drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a nonstick skillet. Cook the bacon, flipping once, until crisp; remove from the pan and set aside. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the onion; cook until lightly browned, stirring frequently. Crumble the bacon into the pan and add the tomatoes and red pepper flakes; toss to mix and coat.

Add the pasta and reserved pasta cooking water to the tomato sauce; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Serve with fresh chopped basil and grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.*

Spaghetti Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Spaghetti Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients. Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Spaghetti Wine Pairing

Cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, mourvèdre, Rhône blends, zinfandel, petite sirah, nero d'avola, primitivo, sangiovese, or carménère with meat- or tomato-based sauces; grenache or chardonnay with cream-based sauces; pinot gris/grigio, albariño, or other fresh white wines (for instance, soave, Italian sauvignon, or grillo) with seafood pasta; nebbiolo, dolcetto, or barbera with most non-seafood pasta.