Pasta alla GRICIA recipe

Pasta alla GRICIA recipe

Pasta alla GRICIA is one of the best known and most appreciated Roman first courses.

It originates in the city of Amatrice, a Lazio town and is also called “White Amatriciana” because it contains the same ingredients with the exception of tomatoes.

Let’s see what it consists of.

The RECIPE of pasta alla GRICIA is based on a few ingredients, actually only 3, which however must be very specific. In particular, guanciale and pecorino must be used, as well as pasta, of course.

The star here is guanciale, which is cured jowl. It is increasingly easy to find, but if you don’t have it, use pancetta or even bacon. (It won’t be authentic, but it will be really good.)

It is done in a very short time, practically what it takes to cook pasta and for this reason it can easily be considered a dinner-saving recipe to be prepared at the last minute.

Guanciale, Pepe and Pecorino Romano mixed together, give life to a tasty and velvety dish.

As for the pasta format, you can choose between the short one such as rigatoni or half sleeves or the long one such as bucatini or spaghetti.

For the rest, to make it creamy, there is only one trick to follow but I will reveal it to you in the recipe.

So follow me and you will prepare a GRICIA recipe worthy of the best Trattoria in Rome.

  • DifficultyVery easy
  • CostCheap
  • Preparation time10 Minutes
  • Cooking time12 Minutes
  • Serving4
  • CuisineItalian


8 ounces pancetta (guanciale (cured pork cheek), cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
3/4 pound tortiglioni (tonnarelli, linguine or spaghetti)
1/2 tablespoon pepper (finely ground black pepper, plus a pinch)
1/4 cup pecorino romano (finely grated pecorino romano)




If you use “guanciale”, remove the rind and first cut into slices about ½ inch thick, then from the slices cut into strips of about ¼ hinch; otherwise if you don’t have it use bacon or pancetta.

Cook guanciale/bacon in a pan already hot without adding oil or butter over medium heat until it is golden brown (adjust the heat if necessary to add fat without burning the meat).

The fleshy parts must be browned and the fat parts cooked but still slightly transparent. It will take about 15 minutes.


Boil a pot of salted water. When the water boils, cook the pasta until it is al dente.

Meanwhile guanciale/bacon will be ready, turn off the heat and add a grind of black pepper.

When guanciale/bacon has cooled slightly, add 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to the pan, raise the heat and reduce by about half.


Drain pasta “al dente” and transfer directly to the pan with the guanciale/bacon, add half grated pecorino. Stir adding more pasta cooking water if necessary until the pasta is cooked and the sauce thick and creamy.

Add the other half of the cheese and mix vigorously to incorporate.

Serve it immediately.


Pasta alla GRICIA must be consumed as soon as it is ready. If it should be left over, you can keep it in the refrigerator for a maximum of one day.

It is not suitable for frozen food.


To prepare the pasta alla GRICIA recipe, you usually use guanciale but if you don’t find it, pancetta or bacon is fine too: it is not the original recipe but it is still a good dish.

I recommend never adding cream! The sauce becomes creamy thanks to the starch contained in the cooking water of the pasta.

Last advice: cook the guanciale or bacon without adding oil or butter in a pan that is already hot, it must cook in its own fat.


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