You do not need many ingredients to create a rich and full taste. For example, bacon, pecorino and pepper are all that is needed for the rustic spaghetti alla gricia. The perfect pasta when time is short. And of course for all those who like hearty food.Jump to Recipe
Pasta with a summer feeling
Grisciano is a small village in the border region of Lazio, Umbria and the Marche. This is probably where the name of the alla gricia pasta comes from, a dish which is very popular in Rome. But its “inventors” were the shepherds of this mountainous region. On their long journeys with their flocks of sheep, the shepherds used to carry only long-lasting food in their rucksacks: dried pasta, bacon, pepper, lard and Pecorino, which they made themselves. A more recent version of the recipe is named after the village of Amatrice. The “amatriciana” also includes ripe tomatoes and possibly some pepperoni. They provided some variation in the shepherd's kitchen in summer.
On bacon and cheese
The two pasta dishes from Lazio are traditionally prepared with lard and not with olive oil. For this dish, it is best not to use pancetta, the smoky bacon, as its taste would be too intense. The guanciale, made from the cheeks, is, with its mild aroma, the bacon of choice for our recipe. We also have a tip for Pecorino: the Pecorino from the Amatrice area is quite mild and the best for pasta alla gricia or amatriciana. If you prefer something a little spicier, use Pecorino Romano. I would not recommend Sardo because of its very high salt content.
Spaghetti alla Gricia
- 320 g spaghetti
For the sauce
- 1 tsp lard
- 300 g Guanciale
- 150 g Pecorino
- black pepper freshly ground
- some pasta water
For the pasta, mix the durum wheat flour and water and knead to a smooth dough. Form the dough into a ball-like shape and let it rest for 30 minutes. Using a pasta maker, first pull the dough into thin strips, then cut out narrow ribbon noodles (tagliolini) of approx. 1-2 mm.
Bring plenty of water to the boil. Meanwhile, heat the lard in a large pan. Cut the guanciale into strips and fry them in the lard until you can no longer see the fat in the bacon. Salt the pasta water and cook the pasta until al dente. And remember: fresh pasta only takes a few minutes to cook.
Strain the pasta but put some pasta water to the side in case you need it later. Mix the pasta directly in the pan with the bacon. Season with grated Pecorino and plenty of pepper. If the pasta seems too dry to you, add some cooking water and mix again.