Spaghetti alla gricia recipe

Today I want to share with you one of the most famous dish of the Roman culinary tradition: pasta alla gricia.
When it was first invented it was considered a “poor” dish, which was generally prepared by shepherds which were simply using the ingredients that were easier for them to find.

It could be considered the ancestor of pasta alla amatriciana, in fact it has all the ingredients in common except for the tomato sauce (probably because pasta alla gricia was invented much earlier, when tomatoes were still unknown in Europe!).

Easy and quick to prepare but incredibly tasty.
All you need is some bacon (better if guanciale, but in case you don’t have it, bacon can do! well, sort of…), grated pecorino cheese, olive oil, pepper and of course spaghetti!

In terms of quantity, I would suggest around 70-80 gr of bacon per 100 gr of pasta. The amount of pecorino it really depends on your tastes, but the more you put, the creamer and tastier the pasta will be.

pasta griciaHow to prepare it: cut the bacon in small stripes or cubes and let it cook in a pan with some olive oil until it is crunchy and golden (once it is cook, you can throw away some of the cooking oil. I like to do so because the pasta will be less greasy!).

Boil the spaghetti and once they are ready add them to the bacon, sprinkle the pecorino and some pepper all over. Make sure spaghetti are “al dente” or they will get all sticky once you will try to mix them with bacon and pecorino.
Tip: in order to have a creamy result, add some of the pasta cooking water.

That’s all! Quick and easy as I promised.
Try it and let me know what you think! 🙂

Spaghetti alla chitarra

If you have never tried them, you are really missing out!
I found them in my local Co-operative here in London and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I never thought I would have found them in a supermarket here and I was very pleasantly surprised when I saw them laying on the shelf in front of me. It really made my day! 🙂

Spaghetti alla chitarra

Spaghetti alla chitarra

“It’s just spaghetti!” you may say…but you are wrong! 🙂
“Spaghetti alla chitarra” are a particular square shaped spaghetti called after the tool that is used to make them: the chitarra (the Italian word for guitar). They have a stronger texture than the normal ones and they usually contains eggs as well.

They are perfect with a “cacio e pepe” sauce (parmesan, pecorino cheese, olive oil and black peppers) or with a fresh tomato and rocket sauce…and of course they have to be al dente!