Pasta alla Gricia
Pasta alla Gricia may be the most underrated of all the four types of classic Roman pastas. The world loves a carbonara, probably the most dare I say pedestrian of the four. Every food lover in London gets their knickers in a twist over cacio e Pepe. Not being shady, I like it too… so much I created a fried egg recipe that tasted like it. I don’t really love the tomato heavy Amatriciana, but that’s just me.
My favourite has to be Pasta alla Gricia. Its super simple to make you need 3 ingredients pasta, pecorino and guanciale. With simple recipes its important that you get top-quality ingredients. All of my Italian groceries come from the ICONIC Lina Stores in London. they have been supplying Londoners with Italian groceries and deli items from their Soho shop since 1944.
Keeping with being very 2020, Lina Stores have launched a grocery delivery service. You can get almost everything Italian delivered to your doorstep in London. From fresh pasta, sauces, cheese olives, bread, rice and cannoli.
They deliver nationwide now so rejoice!
Pasta alla Gricia
1 tablespoon olive oil
500g Fresh Casarecce (Feel free to use any other sturdy pasta)
100g finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving
ground black pepper
Using a sharp knife, cut into 1/4-inch-thick lardons.
In a large frying pan, Add the guanciale and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until the fat has rendered and guanciale is golden brown and crisp. This is going to take about 15 to 20 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer guanciale to a plate; set aside. Put your frying pan to the side and cook the pasta.
In a medium pot, bring water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta (including all the semolina) to water and cook, stirring frequently during the first minute to prevent pasta from sticking.
Once the pasta has cooked for about 2 minutes drain reserving all the pasta water.
Return the frying pan to the heat and bloom the black pepper in the guanciale fat. Pour in about 400ml of the pasta water. Loosen all the little bits stuck to the pan. Bring to a boil, swirling to emulsify pasta water with guanciale fat. Once it’s at the boil add the drained pasta to the frying pan,
Finish cooking the pasta by gently stirring with a spoon or rubber spatula, to ensure even cooking and that the sauce remains emulsified. Continue to add ladles of pasta water if the sauce is too thick. Add the cooked guanciale .. continue stirring to keep the sauce emulsified.
Lower the heat, add half of the grated Pecorino let it melt then stir rapidly to combine. Once the cheese is fully emulsified in the sauce, add remaining Pecorino Romano, stir rapidly once more to combine. Adjust sauce consistency as needed with more pasta water. Season with salt and pepper, if needed. Plate and eat… Serve with more cheese at the table.
If you like this.. why not try my Cacio e Pepe eggs for a Roman inspired brunch..