20 minutes


Pasta alla gricia

  • 400g of rigatoni pasta
  • 300g of guanciale, or good quality pancetta, cubed
  • 1 tbsp of olive oil
  • 110g of Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
  • freshly ground black pepper


Cook the pasta in a pan of heavily salted boiling water for 8–10 minutes, or as per packet instructions
Meanwhile, slowly heat the cubed guanciale with a tablespoon of olive oil over a medium-low heat. It is a fatty cut of meat, so you want to render the fat right down without colouring the meat too much. It’s this delicious fat which will coat the pasta, giving the dish its porky depth of flavour
Once the fat has rendered, turn down the heat and add a splash of pasta water to keep the meat nice and soft
When the pasta is cooked al dente, remove from the heat and drain, ensuring to reserve some of the pasta water
Leave the pasta in the colander for 30 seconds to dry off a little – this way you are completely in control of how much pasta water you will add to create the sauce
Add the pasta to the pan and turn up the heat. Toss the pan or use tongs to coat the pasta completely in the rendered fat. Now mix in a splash or two of the reserved pasta water to give it a glossy shine. The starch from the pasta water will bind with the fat to produce a rich sauce
Remove from the heat, add a few grinds of black pepper and the grated Pecorino Romano. Toss again to evenly coat and serve straight away