December 9, 2023


Cooking Is My World

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

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

Welcome to Parla’s Pastas, a bi-weekly column by the Rome-dependent, New York Instances very best-advertising cookbook author Katie Parla. In this article you are going to find conventional and motivated recipes from Italy’s 20 locations. Get completely ready for a carb-pushed journey by way of the trattorias of Rome, the kitchens of Sicily (her ancestral homeland), rural Campania, and past. Fireplace up a pot of water, and andiamo!

Gricia need to be a residence identify. The pillar of Roman cuisine hits the higher notes of Central Italian meals with its sauce of pleasingly pungent Pecorino Romano, fat-loaded guanciale, and coarsely ground black pepper. Like amatriciana and carbonara, Rome’s much better-identified pastas, gricia achieves bold flavor making use of shockingly several ingredients—yet under no circumstances had its viral second. It is about time: Guanciale and pecorino play guide roles, relatively than getting muted or mellowed in the history. 

Roman cooks assert that gricia originated in northern Lazio, deep in the Apennine mountains. Shepherds released town-dwellers to the dish about a century in the past, and it stuck.  In truth, it would go on to encourage Rome’s other legendary pastas: Spiked with tomato sauce, it turned amatriciana. Enriched with egg, it birthed carbonara. But inspite of the all over the world renown of these later creations, gricia never ever received its due—even if it is nevertheless a pillar of the Roman trattoria.  

These days, gricia is my go-to order at Salumeria Roscioli, a connoisseur deli and cafe in Rome’s centro storico. There, crisp cubes of guanciale mingle with “al chiodo” (not very al dente) rigatoni and 3 distinct, aromatic varieties of black pepper. 

When I have pals in city, I just take them to Armando al Pantheon (a block from, you guessed it, the Pantheon), where 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 woman: Who can resist individuals porky bits that settle within the tubular architecture? Guanciale-smart, I spring for rectangles, as opposed to cubes, which crisp up nicely (see observe underneath). The sauce is impressed by my local, Cesare al Casaletto, a trattoria many blocks from my condominium. It’s outstandingly silky. I replicate it at house by cooking the pasta midway in flippantly salted drinking water to compensate for the incredibly salty pecorino, then increase it to the pan with a ladleful of pasta drinking water, a healthy dose of guanciale, and its flavorful rendered excess fat. The crucial, I’ve learned, is to swirl the pasta as it finishes cooking to reach a fantastic mantecatura (emulsion). To replicate and get that perfect bite, use your senses, rather than a timer, to establish when the pasta is performed and has the perfect bite. Last occur generous cranks of black pepper, and more than enough finely grated Pecorino Romano to glue it all alongside one another. Make it currently to be right away transported to the animated trattorias of Rome no make any difference in which you are. 

Observe: If you extravagant crisp guanciale, prepare dinner it about medium heat and transfer it to a plate, leaving the excess fat in the pan, although you prepare the dish. Then increase the crisp guanciale with the pasta prior to plating. If feasible, find out guanciale with a simple black pepper and salt get rid of, alternatively than a person flavored with fennel, garlic, or chile. The dish is all about the pure taste of black pepper.

Produce: 4

Time: 30 minutes


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


  1. Cut off and discard the guanciale’s seasoned crust, then minimize into ¼-inch-thick slabs. Slice each and every slab lengthwise, then cut into ¾-inch-thick strips.
  2. To a large, chilly cast-iron skillet or pan, include the guanciale and convert the warmth to medium-lower. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the excess fat renders, 10–15 minutes. Clear away from the warmth and set apart to neat a little bit.
  3. Meanwhile, convey a huge pot of salted h2o (see headnote) to a boil, then  add the rigatoni and boil until scarcely al dente, a little a lot more than fifty percent of the advisable cooking time on the package deal. Transfer 1 cup of the pasta cooking drinking water to the pan with the guanciale and set aside an additional ½ cup.
  4. Drain the pasta, then incorporate it to the pan with the guanciale and switch the heat to medium-large. Cook, swirling the pan, until the pasta is al dente and coated in sauce, 5–7 minutes. Change off the warmth and stir in the black pepper and  ½ cup of the Pecorino. If the sauce is too thick, steadily add enough reserved pasta water to make a smooth, creamy sauce. Serve right away, passing the remaining Pecorino for sprinkling.