Alla Gricia is one of the four Roman pastas (along with Cacio e Pepe, Carbonara and my favorite, Amatriciana)
┃ yield — 2
- ground black pepper
- grated pecorino Romano
- 170g pasta (best: Lunghi Bucati)
- 1 clove garlic - peeled and finely grated (optional)
- sage leaves (optional)
┃ ◕ — 30
- Cut the guanciale in small stripes or cubes, then cook in a large skillet over medium heat until deeply golden (it will render its own fat, so olive 🫒 oil might not be necessary but you can add some if needed). The meaty parts should be browned and the fatty parts should be cooked but still slightly transparent. This will take 15 to 20 minutes. When it’s done, add the black pepper and turn off the heat.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta until it’s al dente, nearly but not quite done and still a bit chalky in the middle.
- When the guanciale has cooled a bit, and while the pasta is cooking, add ¾ cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan, turn the heat to high and reduce by about half.
- When the pasta is ready, use tongs to transfer it to the pan with the sauce. Stir the pasta as it finishes cooking, adding more pasta cooking water if necessary until the pasta is done and the sauce thick and creamy. Add half the cheese, the grated raw garlic 🧄 (if using) and a pinch of pepper, and stir vigorously to incorporate.
- Divide the pasta among four dishes, and dust each with the remaining pecorino.