Pasta Alla Gricia

A classic Roman dish using only 4 simple ingredients This recipe serves 2 people


  • 170g Pecorino Romano
  • 240g Pasta – traditionally a spaghetti or mezze maniche
  • 170g Guanciale
  • Pepper - to taste
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  1. Freshly grate the pecorino into a bowl
  2. Prepare guanciale by cutting off the outer skin and slice into small 1cm cubes
  3. Prepare a large pot of salted boiling water
  4. In a cold pan add the guanciale and turn on the heat. Do not add any additional oils or fats
  5. Whilst the guanciale is cooking add the pasta to the boiling water and cook for 3/4 of full cooking time.
  6. Add ground pepper to the cooking guanciale
  7. Once the guanciale is cooked to a nice golden brown, remove from the pan and set aside. Do not throw out the fats from the pan!
  8. Add a ladle of the pasta water to the pan and allow to reduce.
  9. Transfer the 3/4 cooked pasta to the pan with the fats and pasta water and finish cooking the pasta in this pan, continue to add the pasta water to the pot as needed. Keep agitating the pasta so that is emulsifies with the oil in the pan, a creamy sauce should start to appear. If you do not have this, continue agitating the pasta. Be careful not to add too much pasta water as you are trying to build a nice creamy consistency.
  10. Once the pasta has cooked, switch off the heat and allow to rest for a minute.
  11. Add the grated pecorino to the pan and agitate/stir the pasta. Keep adding the pecorino until you have a nice coating on all the pasta.
  12. Once plated, sprinkle the guanciale pieces on the top. Garnish with some more grated pecorino and enjoy!

Why we like it

A nice simple dish that is packed full of flavour. Kids love it

Pasquale's top 3 Tips

  1. Use a quality pasta – as starchy as possible. Usually a spaghetti or mezze maniche
  2. Make sure you emulsify the oil and pasta water – this is a critical step
  3. Allow the pan to cool slightly before adding the pecorino