Pasta alla Gricia

Pasta alla Gricia is an antique recipe born centuries ago. It was invented by sheep breeders near Rome before tomato was imported in Europe. To prepare the original recipe you should use “Guanciale”, which is cured pork cheeks, instead of bacon, and unsalted Pecorino cheese.

Ingredients (for 2)

  • 2 cups dry pasta (about 7 oz.)
  • 4 bacon slices
  • 1/2 cup pecorino cheese
  • 1/4 onion
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper


  • Take a heavy iron casted skillet or non-stick pan and bring oil and butter to medium heat
  • Add diced onion and bacon, and stir fry until slightly crispy, stirring with a wooden spoon from time to time (about 4-5 minutes)
  • Season with salt and black pepper, and set aside
  • Cook pasta in boiling salted water (use rock salt), according to package directions
  • When “al dente”, drain the pasta reserving a little bit of water
  • Add the pasta and the reserved water to the skillet and turn up the heat to high
  • Sprinkle with abundant grated pecorino cheese and some more black pepper (if possible, freshly ground) and toss well
  • Serve immediately, when all water has been absorbed!

Tips from the Chef

  • Do not over burn the bacon or leave it too soft… just crispy enough
  • You can add some sage before serving as a final touch