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Pasta alla Gricia

This is a simple dish that's easy to prepare and enjoy. No fuss, just the goodness of traditional ingredients presented by the Giuseppe Pastorelli, the Consul General of Italy to New England. (Guanciale is cured pig cheek and may not be available in your area; substitute pancetta or bacon and still get the wonderful flavor of this dish!)

Serves 4 to 6 as a first course


1/4 pound guanciale, pancetta, or bacon, diced

Filippo Berio extra virgin olive oil

1/2 to 1 pear, thinly sliced and diced

Pepper to taste

1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese

1/2 pound penne or rigatoni



Heat a tablespoon or two of the olive oil in a large frying pan.  Put in the diced guanciale or pancetta and let it gently sauté for 3 or 4 minutes.  Add a bit of pepper as it is cooking.

While the meat is frying, heat a pasta pot with several quarts of salted water and cook the penne or rigatoni until al dente.

Add the pear pieces to the guanciale and sauté for a minute longer. 

When the meat and pasta are cooked, drain the pasta and add it to the pan with the guanciale and pear mixture.  Raise the heat and quickly stir the sauce into the pasta.  Adjust the seasoning with more pepper, if desired.  Add the grated cheese and gently stir it into the mixture.  Put the mixture onto a shallow serving dish and serve immediately.

This recipe is featured on show 2316 - Pasta Roman Style.


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