pasta alla gricia
  • 30 mins

  • Easy

  • 2 serves



180g PASTA (=6,35oz)

100g GUANCIALE (=3,53oz=¾ cup)

130 PECORINO CHEESE (=4,59oz)


COARSE SALT to taste


Put a pot with water on the stove at high flame.

Remove the rind from the guanciale and then cut it into strips. Cook it at low heat in a warm non-stick pan for about 10 minutes (or until it starts to look golden and crispy).

In the meantime, grate the cheese. The original recipe would require PDO Pecorino Romano (or a local pecorino), but I’ve opted for an aged Pecorino di Pienza.

Once water boils, add coarse salt and as it comes to boil again, toss the pasta. Cook it according to packaging instructions, making sure to drain it 3 minutes in advance. I’ve opted for “Pache” shape from Pasta Felicetti that needs 12 minutes cooking, so I’ve drained them after 9 minutes cooking. Make sure to calculate timings so that pasta finishes cooking once guanciale strips are ready.

Drain the pasta with a slotted spoon and throw it in the saucepan with the guanciale. Add the cheese, abundant freshly grated black pepper and a ladleful of hot cooking water. Keep stirring and cook at medium heat for about 2 more minutes, then turn the flame off and serve.

Pasta alla Gricia is an old traditional recipe from the Lazio region that lies between Amatriciana and Cacio & Pepe. The most common pasta shapes paired with this sauce are bucatini or rigatoni. In any case, its creaminess will enchant you!

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