I’ve been meaning to jot down my go-to recipe for Gricia for some time now. Truth be told that of the four quintessential Roman pasta dishes – Carbonara, Cacio e Pepe, Amatriciana, and Gricia – the simple Gricia with nothing but pecorino, guanciale, and a little bit of black pepper is my hands-down favorite.
Gricia aka pasta with guanciale and pecorino
- 4.5 ounces (125 grams) of guanciale, either cut in cubes or in little rectangles like fat matchsticks
- 1/4 of a cup of pecorino, plus more for serving, grated
- Salt and black pepper
- 250 grams pasta
- Cook the guanciale over low heat in a large pan or heavy-bottomed pot until it’s crispy on the outside but still a little squishy on the inside. You can start with a little olive oil in the pan or not – up to you! People go both ways.
- Meanwhile, when the guanciale is almost ready, cook your pasta al dente in a large pot of lightly salted water. Pecorino and guanciale are both super salty so there is no need to go overboard with the salt here.
- While the pasta is cooking and after the guanciale is adequately crisp, stir a ladle full of pasta water in with the guanciale and cook until it reduces into a sauce of sorts. Add more water if needed.
- When the pasta is al dente, drain it, saving some of the pasta water, and add the pasta to the pan with the guanciale and toss over high heat for about 30 seconds. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Turn off the heat and stir in the 1/4 cup of grated pecorino and an ample dash of black pepper and mix vigorously until you get a nice cheesy sauce. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Plate, top with some grated pecorino, and serve.