Pasta alla Gricia Recipe
There is a Roman pasta recipe that you should try because is so local, easy, and delicious: Pasta alla Gricia. It’s made with two of Rome’s most important ingredients, guanciale (pork jowl) and pecorino cheese (sheep cheese). Watch Foodie Sisters, Benedetta and Valeria, guide you through the recipe using one of Italy’s most traditional cookbooks.
Pasta alla Gricia
120 g guanciale
50 g grated pecorino romano
250 g pasta (spaghetti or rigatoni)
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring your well-salted pasta water to the boil. While the water is heating, slice the guanciale into strips, wide ribbons, or even a fine dice, the cut depends on how you want the guanciale to mingle with the pasta you’ve chosen.
Place the guanciale in a cold sauté pan and place over medium heat. Slowly cook the guanciale to soften the fat until it turns translucent. Fry the guanciale until just turning crunchy then lower the heat.
Cook the pasta until ‘al dente‘, occasionally add a few spoonfuls of starchy pasta cooking water to the guanciale pan, just enough to keep it moist. The starchy water is a key element to the finished dish; it combines with the fat to form the sauce for the pasta.
When the pasta is cooked, scoop out a cup of the water then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the guanciale. Toss the pasta vigorously, coating it with the guanciale and rendered fat. If necessary, add a splash of the reserved pasta cooking water to bring it all together.
Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the grated pecorino romano cheese, continuing to stir well so the cheese binds smoothly with the water and fat. Grind some black pepper into the pan, toss well and serve immediately.