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Pasta alla Gricia Recipe

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How to Make Authentic Pasta alla Gricia

Often overshadowed by its famous Roman siblings—carbonara, amatriciana, and cacio e pepe—Pasta alla Gricia is actually the foundation of these iconic dishes. Featuring the key ingredients of guanciale and pecorino cheese, this dish is a celebration of Lazio’s culinary heritage.

Watch Foodie Sisters, Benedetta and Valeria, guide you through the preparation of this delicious Roman pasta dish.

Pasta alla Gricia

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 120 g (4.2 oz) guanciale
  • 50 g (1.8 oz) grated pecorino romano
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) pasta (spaghetti or rigatoni)
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare the Pasta:
    • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil.
  2. Prepare the Guanciale:
    • While the water heats, slice the guanciale into strips, ribbons, or fine dice, depending on how you want it to blend with the pasta.
    • Place the guanciale in a cold sauté pan and set it over medium heat. Slowly cook to soften the fat until translucent. Fry until just turning crunchy, then lower the heat.
  3. Cook the Pasta:
    • Cook the pasta until ‘al dente’. Occasionally, add a few spoonfuls of starchy pasta cooking water to the guanciale pan to keep it moist. The starchy water is crucial as it combines with the fat to create the sauce.
  4. Combine:
    • When the pasta is ready, scoop out a cup of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the guanciale. Toss vigorously to coat the pasta with the guanciale and rendered fat. If necessary, add a splash of the reserved pasta water to bring it all together.
  5. Finish with Pecorino:
    • Remove the pan from the heat and gradually add the grated pecorino romano cheese, stirring well so the cheese binds smoothly with the water and fat. Grind some black pepper into the pan, toss well, and serve immediately.

When in Rome, join our The 4 Roman Pastas Tasting Experience in Rome and indulge in all of Rome’s classic pasta dishes in one go, or learn to make all 4 during our 4 Roman Pastas Cooking Class in Rome.

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