Pasta alla gricia
- 400g pasta (we strongly suggest using rigatoni)
- 250g guanciale
- 60g grated pecorino romano cheese
- Ground black pepper
Guanciale is a type of cured meat similar to pancetta, but using the cheek of the pig. The flavor is rather distinct from that of pancetta or bacon. To prepare it you cut away its outer rind and slice the guanciale in strips. These are then cooked in a non-sticky pan without adding any oil, as the fat in the guanciale will melt forming all you need. Add abundant ground black pepper and set aside. To cook the pasta you should follow our suggestions (see the specific post), but use just half of the salt you normally would as the ingredients are rather salty already. When the pasta is ready, save three tablespoons of its cooking water and strain the rest – then drop the pasta and the water you saved in the pan with the guanciale and cook over a strong fire for about one minute while mixing. Turn off the fire, spread the cheese on the pasta, mix some more to amalgamate all the flavors together and serve. That’s it! Pasta as it was eaten almost two thousand years ago. Try it and it will be the best history lesson of all your life.