July 23, 2024


Food Moments

Pasta alla Gricia Recipe (Pasta with Guanciale, Pecorino, and Black Pepper)

4 min read

Welcome to Parla’s Pastas, a bi-weekly column by the Rome-based mostly, New York Periods ideal-promoting cookbook writer Katie Parla. Here you are going to obtain regular and inspired recipes from Italy’s 20 areas. Get all set for a carb-driven journey by the trattorias of Rome, the kitchens of Sicily (her ancestral homeland), rural Campania, and outside of. Fire up a pot of h2o, and andiamo!

Gricia should be a home title. The pillar of Roman cuisine hits the significant notes of Central Italian food stuff with its sauce of pleasingly pungent Pecorino Romano, unwanted fat-loaded guanciale, and coarsely floor black pepper. Like amatriciana and carbonara, Rome’s much better-recognised pastas, gricia achieves bold taste making use of surprisingly number of ingredients—yet hardly ever had its viral instant. It’s about time: Guanciale and pecorino play direct roles, rather than being muted or mellowed in the qualifications. 

Roman cooks declare that gricia originated in northern Lazio, deep in the Apennine mountains. Shepherds introduced town-dwellers to the dish above a century back, and it stuck.  Certainly, it would go on to inspire Rome’s other legendary pastas: Spiked with tomato sauce, it turned amatriciana. Enriched with egg, it birthed carbonara. But regardless of the around the globe renown of these later on creations, gricia under no circumstances acquired its due—even if it’s even now a pillar of the Roman trattoria.  

These days, gricia is my go-to buy at Salumeria Roscioli, a gourmet deli and restaurant in Rome’s centro storico. There, crisp cubes of guanciale mingle with “al chiodo” (not pretty al dente) rigatoni and three distinctive, fragrant varieties of black pepper. 

When I have good friends in city, I acquire them to Armando al Pantheon (a block from, you guessed it, the Pantheon), wherever chef Claudio Gargioli softens the guanciale with a splash of white wine. The porky strips get caught in the strands as you twirl. 

Gricia alla Katie? For starters, I’m a rigatoni lady: Who can resist people porky bits that settle inside the tubular architecture? Guanciale-wise, I spring for rectangles, as opposed to cubes, which crisp up properly (see notice under). The sauce is inspired by my community, Cesare al Casaletto, a trattoria quite a few blocks from my condominium. It’s outstandingly silky. I replicate it at home by cooking the pasta halfway in frivolously salted h2o to compensate for the really salty pecorino, then include it to the pan with a ladleful of pasta h2o, a healthy dose of guanciale, and its flavorful rendered excess fat. The important, I’ve acquired, is to swirl the pasta as it finishes cooking to obtain a ideal mantecatura (emulsion). To replicate and get that great bite, use your senses, instead than a timer, to identify when the pasta is accomplished and has the great chunk. Very last come generous cranks of black pepper, and ample finely grated Pecorino Romano to glue it all alongside one another. Make it now to be instantly transported to the animated trattorias of Rome no make a difference wherever you are. 

Notice: If you extravagant crisp guanciale, cook it around medium warmth and transfer it to a plate, leaving the fat in the pan, while you get ready the dish. Then add the crisp guanciale with the pasta before plating. If doable, find out guanciale with a simple black pepper and salt heal, rather than 1 flavored with fennel, garlic, or chile. The dish is all about the pure flavor of black pepper.

Table of Contents


  • 9 oz. guanciale
  • ¾ cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (2½ oz.), divided
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1 lb. dried rigatoni pasta
  • 2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


  1. Minimize off and discard the guanciale’s seasoned crust, then slice into ¼-inch-thick slabs. Slice every single slab lengthwise, then slice into ¾-inch-thick strips.
  2. To a massive, chilly solid-iron skillet or pan, add the guanciale and turn the heat to medium-minimal. Cook dinner, stirring from time to time, till the fats renders, 10–15 minutes. Eliminate from the warmth and set aside to neat somewhat.
  3. In the meantime, provide a substantial pot of salted h2o (see headnote) to a boil, then  incorporate the rigatoni and boil right until barely al dente, a little far more than 50 percent of the encouraged cooking time on the bundle. Transfer 1 cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan with the guanciale and established aside yet another ½ cup.
  4. Drain the pasta, then include it to the pan with the guanciale and transform the heat to medium-significant. Cook dinner, swirling the pan, right up until the pasta is al dente and coated in sauce, 5–7 minutes. Transform off the warmth and stir in the black pepper and  ½ cup of the Pecorino. If the sauce is way too thick, progressively add sufficient reserved pasta drinking water to make a sleek, creamy sauce. Provide right away, passing the remaining Pecorino for sprinkling.

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