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5 from 3 votes

Rigatoni Alla Gricia

Rigatoni alla gricia is a Roman pasta made with guanciale, Pecorino Romano cheese, coarsely ground black pepper, pasta, and starchy pasta water.
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time25 minutes
Total Time30 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4


  • 8 ounces guanciale cut into lardons
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound rigatoni
  • 3/4 cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • 3 cups reserved pasta water will not neet it all but best to have extra


  • Bring a large pot with water (only use 8 cups of water) to boil with only 1 1/2 teaspoons of kosher salt.
  • Remove the outer hard edge of guanciale then slice into lardons (1/4 inch by 1/4 inch strips).
  • Heat a large pan to medium and saute the guanciale until most of the fat has rendered (about 10-12 minutes). Remove half of the crispy guanciale pieces to a plate and set aside.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta until it is about 3 minutes from al dente. It will still be rather hard.
  • Add some coarsely ground black pepper and the pasta along with 1 cup of pasta water to the pan and cook until the pasta reaches al dente. Add more pasta water if needed since it will absorb the liquid as it cooks.
  • Once the pasta reaches al dente, remove the pan from the heat and add the Pecorino Romano. Mix well and/or toss to emulsify. If needed add more pasta water, a touch at a time, to get the consistency just right.
  • Taste test and adjust salt and pepper levels. Most likely no salt will be needed, but a good coarse grinding of black pepper is recommended.
  • Serve in bowls with more grated Pecorino and top each plate with some of the reserved crispy guanciale. Enjoy!



  • Less salt and water is used to help make the sauce easier to emulsify with the extra starchy pasta water.  Make sure to stir the pasta as it cooks since it will tend to stick to the bottom of the pot with a limited amount of water.
  • Guanciale is recommended but pancetta can 100% be substituted with great results.
  • Leftovers can be saved for up to 3 days and can be reheated in the microwave though pasta alla gricia is best eaten immediately after cooking.


Calories: 766kcal | Carbohydrates: 85.3g | Protein: 41g | Fat: 29.8g | Saturated Fat: 10.5g | Cholesterol: 76mg | Sodium: 1330mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 4g | Calcium: 174mg | Iron: 4mg