Alla gricia is one of the dishes that is available in every single street corner in Rome, but it is virtually unknown in the rest of the country. After all, we can’t speak of one unified Italian kitchen, but of several regional, and distinctly different, cuisines. This dish is actually the forefather of yet another typically Roman dish – amatriciana. Simple but delicious, alla gricia was created in the small town of Griciano in Northern Lazio before the tomato was introduced to Europe. Even today there is annual festival taking place, where they commemorate Griciano’s special contribution to the Italian food culture.
140 gr/5 oz guanciale or pancetta, diced
olive oil for frying
freshly ground black pepper
Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
1 dl/0.5 cup white wine (optional)
paccheri or rigatoni or bucatini
Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the guanciale, or pancetta, if the Roman delicacy isn’t readily available. Keep the temperature high so that the fat burns and the meat starts to brown. You can enhance the taste with white wine. Cook the pasta of your choice in a pot with salted boiling water until al dente. Mix the pasta and the sauce together and make sure that the pasta gets moist with the oil and guanciale. Serve each plate with freshly ground black pepper and grated Pecorino Romano.