Pasta Alla Gricia


  • 500g of Mezze Maniche Rigate 
  • 200g of guanciale (you can substitute for pancetta)
  • 75g of Pecorino, grated
  • Black pepper, freshly ground
  • Salt, to taste

Step by Step Instructions

Step 1

Bring a large pan of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente.

Step 2

Trim the skin off the guanciale and thinly slice into strips. 

Step 3

Heat a large pan over medium heat. Add guanciale and cook until it becomes crispy and releases its fat, about 5-7 minutes.

Step 4

Once the guanciale is crispy, remove it from the pan and place it onto some kitchen role to absorb the excess fat. 

Step 5

Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and reserve around 150ml of the pasta cooking water.

Step 6

Return the pan with the guanciale fat onto a medium heat. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet, tossing to coat it in the fat.

Step 7

Add a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper to the pasta and combine.

Step 8

Add the crispy guanciale back to the pan and toss with the pasta.

Step 9

Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle the grated Pecorino Romano whilst slowly adding the pasta water that was reserved, this should have cooled allowing the cheese to melt into a sauce.

Step 10

If the pan is too dry (you want a creamy texture) add some additional pasta water, if the sauce is too loose add the pan back onto a low heat, ensure you are constantly stirring so the sauce doesn’t split. 

Step 11

Taste and adjust seasoning with salt if necessary but don’t be too heavy handed, remember you salted the pasta water that was added to the sauce and absorbed by the pasta, the guanciale is usually salted when cured also. 

Step 12

To serve, plate up the pasta and garnished with additional grated cheese, I like to melt mine with a blow torch or under the grill before adding another crack of black pepper.