Growing Chefs! Ontario Rigatoni alla Gricia

Rigatoni alla Gricia

Rome is renowned for four pasta sauces: pasta all’Amatriciana (tomato, guanciale, black pepper, pecorino Romano), substitute the tomato for egg and you have carbonara, remove the egg and guanciale and you have cacio e pepe. Somewhere in between you have pasta alla Gricia!
Serves 4 to 6
1 pound rigatoni (look for a type that looks rough and sandpaper-like, Molisana works well)1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil200 grams guanciale, cut into 1/2 inch x 1/2 inch lardons1/2 cup white wine (optional)1 cup grated Pecorino Romano freshly ground black pepper Salt to taste
Measuring spoonsMeasuring cupsMixing bowls of various sizesCutting boardChef's knifeTongsLarge potLarge frying panLadleStrainerTasting spoonsDish towel

Get Organized!

Gather your mise en place; get together all of the equipment needed for the recipe and gather your ingredients.

Get Prepped!

Using a chef’s knife, cut the guanciale into lardons or cubes that are roughly ½ inch by ½ inch.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt the water, once dissolved, add the pasta and cook until just before it becomes al dente, – al chiodio. Drain, reserving the cooking water.

Get Cooking!

Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over low heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the guanciale and cook, stirring until golden brown, about 8 minutes.

Add the white wine and cook until the alcohol aroma dissipates, about a minute more.

Add a small ladle of the reserved pasta water to the skillet with the guanciale and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and another small ladle of its cooking water to the pan with the guanciale.

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring vigorously, until a thick sauce forms, adding more pasta water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. Season to taste.

Remove the skillet from the heat, add ¾ cup of the cheese and a few pinches of pepper – mix thoroughly. Plate and sprinkle each portion with some of the remaining cheese and pepper to taste. Serve immediately