How to Make Classic Pasta alla Gricia


Pasta alla gricia is a classic Italian dish that originated in the Lazio region, specifically in the town of Grisciano. This simple yet flavorful pasta dish is beloved for its rich combination of pancetta, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper. If you’re a fan of carbonara, you’ll definitely want to give alla gricia a try. In this blog post, we’ll share with you a delicious pasta alla gricia recipe that you can easily recreate at home. So, let’s get cooking!


To make pasta alla gricia, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 350 grams of bucatini or spaghetti
  • 150 grams of pancetta, diced
  • 100 grams of Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt for seasoning


Follow these simple steps to prepare pasta alla gricia:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  2. Add the bucatini or spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente, according to the package instructions.
  3. In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  4. Add the diced pancetta to the skillet and cook until crispy and golden brown, stirring occasionally.
  5. Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of the pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta and set it aside.
  6. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the crispy pancetta, making sure to retain some of the fat from the pancetta in the skillet.
  7. Toss the pasta with the pancetta, coating each strand evenly.
  8. Gradually add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to the skillet, a little at a time, until a creamy sauce forms.
  9. Sprinkle the Pecorino Romano cheese over the pasta and toss once more to combine.
  10. Season with freshly ground black pepper, adjusting to your taste preferences.
  11. Serve the pasta alla gricia hot, garnished with some additional grated Pecorino Romano cheese on top.

Enjoy your homemade pasta alla gricia!


1. Can I use bacon instead of pancetta?

While pancetta is the traditional choice for pasta alla gricia, you can use bacon as a substitute if pancetta is not readily available. The flavors will be slightly different, but it will still result in a delicious dish.

2. Can I use a different type of cheese?

Pecorino Romano cheese is a key ingredient in pasta alla gricia, as it adds a distinct salty and tangy flavor. However, if you can’t find Pecorino Romano, you can use Parmesan cheese or a combination of Parmesan and Grana Padano.

3. Can I add vegetables to pasta alla gricia?

Pasta alla gricia is traditionally a simple dish consisting of pasta, pancetta, cheese, and black pepper. However, if you’d like to add some vegetables, you can sauté some onions or garlic in the skillet before adding the pancetta. You can also serve the dish with a side of sautéed greens, such as spinach or Swiss chard.

4. Can I make pasta alla gricia ahead of time?

Pasta alla gricia is best enjoyed immediately after preparation, as the pasta tends to absorb the sauce quickly. However, you can cook the pancetta ahead of time and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve, simply reheat the pancetta and toss it with freshly cooked pasta.

5. Can I use a different type of pasta?

Bucatini and spaghetti are the traditional choices for pasta alla gricia, but you can experiment with other types of pasta if you prefer. Short pasta shapes like rigatoni or penne can work well too, as they provide nooks and crannies for the sauce to cling to.

Now that you have the recipe and some FAQs answered, it’s time to whip up a delicious plate of pasta alla gricia and savor the flavors of Italy. Buon appetito!

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