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Eliot’s Pasta Amatriciana Recipe

In The Magicians, Eliot was preparing an Amatriciana sauce and pasta when Quentin and Alice finally broke into the physcial kids’ bungalow. He added to the sauce some of the red wine he was drinking and some cream. Eliot said “I think if I weren’t a magician, I’d be a chef. It’s just such a relief after all that invisible, intangible b…s…, don’t you think?”
Amatriciana sauce is an Italian tomato sauce made with pancetta and a red pepper kick. It is typically served over bucatini, a hollow spaghetti-type pasta, but fettuccine works as well.

Prep: 20 minutes | Cook: 30-45 minutes | Serves: 6-8

Eliots Pasta Sauce


  • 1/4 cup virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 pound pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 to 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depends on how hot you want it)
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed Italian tomatoes
  • 1 6-ounce can tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 3 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound of bucatini, or fettuccine, prepared


  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add olive oil and pancetta. Cook pancetta for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Add onion and cook until onion is translucent. Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook 1 minute.
  2. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, red wine and basil. Reduce heat to low and simmer covered for 30-45 minutes.
  3. Stir in the heavy cream. Taste the sauce and add salt and pepper as needed. Serve over pasta. A tossed green salad is a nice accompaniment.

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