A close relative of the Carbonara and the Amatriciana. A classic of Roman cuisine, prepared with rigatoni or spaghetti, ready in 20 minutes and without any complications. The guanciale, the part of the pig’s cheek, the base of the dish, is sometimes difficult to find outside Italy.
Even if it sounds like heresy, you can always resort to a good, non-smoked bacon, in case it’s impossible to find guanciale or they try to sneak you an old, stale one, for gold, as sometimes happens in some gourmet shops. Pecorino Romano is a super cured sheep’s cheese, quite salty. If you can’t find it, can be replaced by some local cheese with similar characteristics.
Pasta alla gricia
- 500 g Rigatoni
- 320 g Guanciale
- 80 g grated Pecorino Romano
- Black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Put the pot with water and salt for the pasta to boil, because the rest is prepared very quickly
- Cut the guanciale into strips about one cm thick
- Heat the pan and put the guanciale directly in it, (without oil)
- Fry the guanciale over medium heat until golden brown
- Boil the pasta for a little more than half its cooking time
- Add the pasta to the pan together with a couple of ladles of cooking water and sauté everything together for about 4 minutes, until the pasta is al dente . Be careful, the pasta must not get dry, if necessary add a little more pasta cooking water, so that, when the pecorino is added, a little cream is formed that is not too thick
- Turn off the heat, add the grated Pecorino Romano and black pepper to taste and stir
- Serve with a splash of extra virgin olive oil on top