Pasta alla gricia: only 5 ingredients – original recipe from Italy


Updated: 05/14/2022 – 19:09

Like Carbonara, just different
Only 5 ingredients! This is how you make the Italian classic pasta alla gricia

Ever heard of pasta alla gricia?  No?  Then you should read the following carefully.

Photo: Getty Images / Stanislav Ostranitsa

Ever heard of pasta alla gricia? No? Then you should read the following carefully.

Are you always looking for delicious pasta dishes, originally from Italy, which are also super easy to prepare? Then you’ve come to the right place, because today we’ll show you how to conjure up pasta alle gricia from just five ingredients. So easy, so delicious!

Ingredients for 4 servings:

  • 400 g Pasta (zB Rigatoni)
  • 300 g guanciale (Italian bacon)
  • 100g grated Pecorino Romano
  • Salt
  • Pepper, freshly ground

And this is how it’s done:

  1. First, put a pot full of salted water on top and cook the pasta al dente according to the instructions on the packaging. Attention: Do not throw away the cooking water!
  2. In the meantime, if necessary, remove the rind of the Guanciales and first cut the bacon into thin slices – and then work these into thin strips.
  3. Place strips of bacon in a large skillet and let out over medium-high heat without additional fat and brown, about five minutes.
  4. As soon as the bacon has reached the desired degree of browning, scoop out a ladleful of hot (ideally: boiling) pasta water and deglaze the pan.
  5. Put the pasta in the pan, add the Pecorino and mix thoroughly once. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and that’s about it!

Unbelievable, but really true: For original Italian pasta alla gricia you only need five ingredients – and they even contain the spices salt and pepper, which you probably already have at home. Despite the dish’s simplicity, the bacon and cheese make it bursting with flavor and spice. A culinary poem when it has to be quick.

Are you wondering what exactly Guanciale is? This is an air-dried, unsmoked bacon from Italy that is made from pork cheek or pork neck. You can get it in Italian delicatessens, but also here and there in well-stocked supermarkets or at your trusted butcher. Either way: If you happen to spot Guanciale in the market – grab it and prepare pasta alla gricia.

And if Italian bacon is nowhere to be found, but you still fancy this delicacy, you can also use another air-dried, unsmoked bacon instead – no problem!

Would you like something from the “useless knowledge” category? In fact, pasta alla gricia is considered the ancestor of the extremely popular Pasta all’amatricianawhich also relies on bacon and pecorino, but has added tomato sauce to the whole thing.

You love original italian recipes like this? You get mainly from delicious pasta dishes not enough? For example, how about Penne Alla Boscaiola or Pasta alla zozzona? And if those weren’t enough ideas, we’ve collected many more classics in the gallery for you:


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