pasta alla gricia


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Pasta alla Gricia is one of the four famous pasta dishes from Rome – some say it is a marriage of the key ingredients found in the more famous 3: guanciale, pecorino romano, black pepper. The only way to perfect this dish is to find quality ingredients as they will make all the difference. Try my Pasta alla Gricia and let me know which is your favourite Roman pasta recipe!

Watch the PASTA ALLA GRICIA Video Recipe:

How to Make PASTA ALLA GRICIA Like a Roman

pasta alla gricia

200g/7oz Guanciale (pig cheek) OR Pancetta
Pecorino cheese (amount desired)
300g/10oz rigatoni pasta
Black pepper
1 tblsp rock salt

Spatula or wooden spoon
Medium fry pan
Large pot (for boiling pasta)
Hand-held sieve
Chopping board


  1. Pasta alla Gricia uses guanciale as a key ingredient so start by removing the skin and cutting the piece into long strips and then smaller pieces.
  2. Boil 5L water in a large pot and add 1 tablespoon rock salt, wait to dissolve then add your desired dry pasta. Cook pasta 1 minute less than packet instructions.
  3. Put a medium size pan on your stove at a low-medium heat and add the guanciale. Leave to simmer and cook in its own oil for approx. 5 minutes or until it starts to become crispy with slightly golden edges. This crunch is just what you want from Pasta alla Gricia.
  4. In the meantime, mix the pecorino cheese with 3 tablespoons of pasta water. It should form into a thick almost dough-like paste.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: You might need slightly more or less water dependent on the amount of pecorino cheese you use.

  1. When the pasta is 2 minutes from being ready, scoop up a mug full of pasta water and leave to the side.
  2. Once the pasta is cooked, strain it using a hand held sieve and transfer it into the pan with the guanciale. Then add ½ mug pasta water and gently mix using a wooden spoon.
  3. Leave to simmer for a minute while the water reduces to no more then 4-5 tablespoons.
  4. Remove the pan from heat and add the pecorino paste you created earlier for your pasta alla gricia. Stir through until it melts and spreads evenly throughout, creating a light, creamy sauce.

VINCENZO’S PLATE TIP: Don’t forget to have the stove turned OFF before you add the cheese or it will stick together and thicken.

  1. Once the pasta is smothered in sauce and the guanciale has spread in between the pasta and on top, it is time to serve!

pasta alla gricia recipe

Now that the pasta alla gricia is ready, you can serve up your portions and add the all-important ingredient: black pepper! Be generous..

how to make pasta alla gricia

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!

vincenzo's plate

These are the other 3 Roman Pastas you must try:


pasta cacio e pepe recipe

bucatini amatriciana

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