by Andrew Cotto contributor
September 16, 2020
An authentic recipe for this traditional Roman dish by an extraordinary chef and meat expert.
Most pasta lovers know the big three: Carbonara, Amatriciana, Cacio e Pepe; but there’s a lesser-known addition to the hierarchy, in some ways a hybrid of Amatriciana and Cacio e Pepe, that delivers the same magic of the big three via minimal ingredients and careful preparation. Gricia.
Here is a recipe by chef Gaetano Arnone, an alum of master butcher Dario Cecchini of the famous Tuscan Antica Macelleria Cecchini. Gaetano worked in some of New York’s most respected gastronomic destinations, including Eataly, Dickson’s, Salumeria Rosi, and several restaurants of the Bastianich group, serving as Chef de Cuisine at Babbo Ristorante & Enoteca and Executive Chef at ŌTTŌ Enoteca & Pizzeria. He is currently developing a new Dario Cecchini concept for 2021 in Milan.
Pasta alla Gricia by Gaetano Arnone:
1lb mezza rigatoni
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
8 oz diced guanciale
1 small red onion cut into 1-inch squares
2 cups grated pecorino romano
1/4 cup kosher salt
Bring pot of water to a boil and add salt.
Add pasta to the water and set a timer according to the directions on the package.
Set large sauté pan over medium flame and add guanciale.
Place onions red side down in pan and allow to cook as guanciale renders (about 8 minutes).
When guanciale becomes crispy and the onions have blistered, carefully add one ladle of pasta water to the pan.
Remove pasta from the water and add directly to the pan.
Turn off the heat and slowly add in Pecorino Romano a little at a time and stir pasta to until the cheese and pasta water becomes a silky sauce.
Serve family style on serving plate and finish with Pecorino Romano and a few cracks of black pepper.