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Pasta alla Gricia

“Ostaria DaSte” at Villa Ruggero Wine Hotel

for 4:

  • 200g PAT “guanciale” (cured pork cheek).
  • 350g mezze maniche pasta (half-sleeves) or “bombolotti”, as they are called in Lazio
  • Extra-virgin olive oil for the bottom of the pan
  • Pecorino Romano DOP Buccia Nera cheese, as required
  • Pepper, as required
  • Sea salt
  • Cooking water

Boil quite a large pan of water, add salt and as soon as it boils put the pasta in (the type we use cooks “al dente” in 13 minutes, so we have plenty of time to make the sauce).

Cut the pork cheek into slightly thick slices and then into not too thin strip while heating a large enough pan with some extra-virgin olive oil.

When the oil is hot, add the pork cheek in strips and as soon as it starts to curl and become crunchy, sprinkle it with freshly ground pepper, pour a ladle of cooking water over it and lower the heat.  The starch in the water will cause many bubbles to form.

In the meantime, the pasta will already be cooked. Drain it, leaving a little cooking water and sauté it with the pork cheek.  Turn off the heat, stir in a good handful of Pecorino Romano DOP cheese, stirring it in the pan. Serve it in dishes, sprinkle again with Pecorino cheese… and enjoy your meal.