Renowned and celebrated worldwide, the typical Roman cuisine boasts a thousand-year tradition that, over the centuries, has made it an unparalleled gastronomic reality.
Its flavours transform eating into an incomparable experience, blending tasty recipes with Rome's beauties.
In Rome, food is synonymous with taste and a cuisine that is simple and familiar but, at the same time, substantial and with a strong identity: a must for all those who love to combine the magic of the Eternal City with its gastronomic excellence.
Much loved by Romans, less known to tourists than Amatriciana, Carbonara, and Cacio e Pepe, Gricia is one of the most succulent pasta dishes on Capitoline tables. Guanciale (pork cheek), pepper, and Pecorino Romano DOP: just three ingredients, but of the highest quality, create a mouth-watering recipe for an explosion of sensations that caress the palate.
Gricia is known to be the white version of the more famous Amatriciana but predates it, having the tomato arrived in Italy only in the 16th century.
Its origins, however, are uncertain: It could have originated in Amatrice, on the border between Lazio and Abruzzo, from the custom of the local shepherds to take this food made with poor but essential ingredients such as lard, dried pasta, pecorino cheese, and pepper to pasture; the term 'gricia' could instead derive from the Roman griscium, the grey duster worn by bakers so as not to get dirty with flour; or, finally, the dish could come from Grisciano, a municipality near Accumuli, in the province of Rieti.
The fact is that, whatever its origin, whether near or far in time, geographically near or far away, Gricia is now, to all intents and purposes, one of the most representative dishes of Rome's gastronomic tradition.
Its preparation is quick, requiring just a few simple steps, but precision in following the recipe so that, as tradition dictates, your perfect Gricia is creamy and savory.
Spaghetti, rigatoni or mezze maniche - the most popular pasta types for this recipe - in the desired quantity, or as we say in Rome, 'a sentimento,' meaning as much as you like.
Guanciale (pork cheek)
Grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Making the recipe
Put a pot on the stove with plenty of water, bring to a boil, add salt, and drop down through the pasta. Meanwhile, cut the guanciale into not-too-thick strips and brown it in a pan; you will know it is ready when its fat becomes transparent.
Drain the pasta while still al dente, whisk in the guanciale and a little cooking water to obtain the perfect creaminess, add the pecorino cheese when cold so it doesn't clump, and a sprinkle of pepper.
Serve at the table and enjoy!
Photo: Redazione Web Turismo Roma
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