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Pasta alla Gricia, the authentic Italian pasta recipe

Pasta alla Gricia, the authentic Italian pasta recipe

people icon For 4 euro icon € 3.8 /pers. calories icon 325 kcal/100g


  • 400g. penne ziti rigate pasta from Garofalo
  • 250g. cured bacon or Italian guanciale
  • 150g. sheep cheese, in this case Italian Pecorino
  • Water to cook the pasta
  • Salt (optional, since it has salted meat and cheese)
  • Freshly ground black pepper (generously)

Italian pasta is a culinary genre in itself. The variety of pasta recipes that this Mediterranean country offers us (and their excellent quality) make these dishes a universe more than worth exploring.

A good recipe for penne ziti rigate with pesto alla calabrese to impress a date by showing that you have a hand in the kitchen, some fusilli lunghi with funghi, pancetta and peperoncino to prepare a family meal that no one will forget… and all this without much effort! The best thing about pasta is that it is usually quite easy to prepare. The secret usually lies in having a good recipe in your hands and good quality ingredients.

The recipe that we bring you today is another of those simple and delicious wonders of Italian gastronomy: pasta alla Gricia . This recipe combines a spectacularly creamy cheese sauce with the substantial touch of guanciale (which, in case you can’t find it, can be replaced with pancetta, although it won’t be the same).

This time we have chosen some  penne ziti rigate from Garofalo . This type of  short pasta  has a finely ribbed surface with grooves that will retain this delicious sauce. I leave you with the original recipe with some small license that, in my opinion, improves the sauce. You’ll tell me if you prepare it and I don’t need to tell you that it comes out delicious.

Preparation of the pasta alla Gricia base

  1. We cut the guanciale into small strips of medium thickness. Once we have cut it, we heat a frying pan and brown the guanciale strips in their own fat.
  2. Since we don’t want to end up with a super greasy dish, we are going to remove a little of the fat that the guanciale releases in the pan.

Cooking the pasta and final presentation

  1. Heat one liter of water for every 100 g of pasta in a saucepan. These proportions, which are normally indicated on the packaging, help the pasta not stick together. It will not be necessary to add olive oil to the cooking water so that the pasta does not stick.
  2. When the water begins to boil, add 1 generous handful of salt, about 2 level tablespoons per 400 grams of pasta. At that moment we add the penne ziti rigate, all at once, all together, stirring for a moment with a wooden spoon.
  3. We cook the penne ziti rigate for 11 minutes to obtain an “al dente” or just-done pasta. Once the pasta is cooked, drain it immediately.

Final presentation of the pasta

  1. Once the pasta is ready, we drain it (without getting rid of all the water) and transfer it to the pan, where we have our golden guanciale. We will add three tablespoons of powdered Pecorino cheese and add a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water that we had reserved.
  2. With the water, the cheese will melt until it achieves a spectacular creamy texture (which is known as cacio e pepe .
  3. When we have reached the perfect point of creaminess, we add a little more cheese powder on top and serve with a generous touch of freshly ground black pepper. Afterwards, we can enjoy this Italian delight with an inimitable flavor.

As you can see, in just a few minutes you can have a dish ready with a delicious flavor and spectacular texture . With this recipe, any diner will be absolutely delighted and the best thing is that it doesn’t take much effort!

If after this recipe you are left wanting more, you can take a look at our pumpkin gnocchi recipe , an Italian delight with unforgettable aromas. If what you are looking for is an accompaniment to your pasta, our mushroom sauce is the perfect option.

You can see all the photos of this  recipe step by step  in this album. Don’t miss any details and you will get delicious pasta alla Gricia.

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