Amatriciana Burgers With Tomato-Onion Jam, Bacon, and Pecorino Romano Crisps Recipe

burger with bacon and cheese
Borrowing Roman flavors, this burger is topped with a tomato-onion condiment, Pecorino Romano cheese crisp, and bacon. Vicky Wasik

Inspired by the famous Roman amatriciana sauce, a 6-ounce juicy patty of beef is topped with a spicy tomato-onion jam, crisped bacon, and a Pecorino Romano cheese crisp.

Why this recipe works:

  • Using 80-precent lean ground beef guarantees juicy, flavorful burgers.
  • Handling the ground beef as little as possible and only seasoning the exterior creates a patty with a perfect hamburger texture that isn't tight like meatloaf.
  • Deconstructing a classic amatriciana sauce and handling the ingredients differently creates a variety of textures from crunchy and crisp to moist.

Recipe Facts

Active: 40 mins
Total: 40 mins
Serves: 4 servings

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  • 4 thick-cut slices bacon, halved

  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • 4 medium cloves garlic, thinly sliced

  • Generous pinch crushed red pepper

  • 1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 1/2 ounces Pecorino Romano, grated (about 1/2 cup)

  • 1 1/2 pounds freshly ground beef chuck, preferably about 80 percent lean, formed into 4 (4 1/2-inch wide) patties

  • 8 pieces focaccia bread, about 4-inches square each, warmed


  1. Preheat oven to 300°F (150°C) and line a baking sheet with silpat. In a large wide pot or Dutch oven, cook bacon over medium heat, turning, until fat has rendered and bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. Using tongs, transfer bacon to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

  2. Add onions and garlic to rendered bacon fat in pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are translucent and soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in crushed red pepper and cook for 30 seconds. Add tomatoes and their juices and bring to a simmer. Lower heat to medium-low and cook, crushing tomatoes with a wooden spoon, until only small chunks remain. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until sauce has thickened to a spoonable, ketchup-like consistency, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and a generous amount of black pepper.

  3. Meanwhile, sprinkle Pecorino Romano in four 5-inch rounds on silpat and bake until lightly browned and melted, about 10 minutes. Let cheese crisps cool until crisp.

  4. When ready to serve, season burger patties generously with salt and pepper and cook burgers to desired doneness on a hot grill or in a skillet on the stovetop, 125°F for medium rare or 135°F for medium. Transfer to a plate and allow to rest for 5 minutes.

  5. Place 4 pieces of focaccia on a work surface and set burger patties on top. Top patties with tomato-onion jam, followed by bacon, and cheese crisps. Close sandwiches with remaining focaccia and serve right away.


This recipe makes more sauce than you will need for the burgers, but it's worth having some extra to use on pasta or serve as a condiment with roast chicken, pork, or fish. Refrigerate extra sauce in an airtight container for up to 4 days.

Special Equipment

Silpat nonstick baking mat

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Nutrition Facts (per serving)
888 Calories
51g Fat
50g Carbs
55g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 888
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 51g 66%
Saturated Fat 17g 84%
Cholesterol 153mg 51%
Sodium 1510mg 66%
Total Carbohydrate 50g 18%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 55g
Vitamin C 16mg 81%
Calcium 213mg 16%
Iron 8mg 43%
Potassium 1020mg 22%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)