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Perfect gricia pasta: all the secrets to prepare it!

Gricia pasta

Let’s find out how to prepare a delicious Gricia pasta with the original Roman recipe: its secret lies in the right creaminess and in the balance between the ingredients!

Today we are going to discover the original recipe of pasta alla gricia, a very tasty and apparently simple dish, but which, like all preparations made up of few ingredients, certainly involves pitfalls as regards the consistency and the right balance of the strong flavors that make up.

In short, do you want to find out how to prepare a perfect plate of spaghetti alla gricia? Follow us in the kitchen and we will find out together (but we will also see many variations and curiosities about this fantastic first course). So, without further ado, here is gricia, the Roman recipe that the whole world envies us!

Gricia pasta
Gricia pasta

Gricia: ingredients

Before going to the stove, let’s take a step back… First of all, what is gricia ? The ingredients are practically the same as the amatriciana , but without the tomato, and that is why it is also called white amatriciana; others like to imagine it as a cheese and pepper with the addition of bacon! Together with the aforementioned sisters and carbonara , it completes the picture of the most famous first courses of Roman cuisine .

In reality, however, more than white … it would be better to say gray . Pasta takes its name from this color, which is more or less the shade created by mixing cheese with pepper! This dish, in fact, is nothing more than a pasta with bacon and pecorino, two ingredients with a strong flavor and which must therefore be balanced in the best possible way.

The quality of the products is fundamental: buy some pecorino romano still to be grated and quality bacon , but above all, forget about canned pancetta! For 4 people , therefore, get:

  • 400 g of spaghetti
  • 300 g of bacon
  • 250 g of pecorino romano
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste
  • cooking water to taste

How to cook pasta alla gricia

  1. Heat a pot with water where you are going to boil the pasta. Once the water boils, add lightly salt (the pecorino and bacon are already very savory) and throw in the pasta. Some chefs say that another secret lies in boiling a piece of rind with spaghetti: try it!
  2. Cut the bacon into strips, removing the rind first. Once cut into small pieces, brown it in a pan until crisp, without adding oil or other fats, and dry it with kitchen paper.
  3. Grate the pecorino cheese and leave the cheese aside.
  4. At this point in the recipe, the simplest way to proceed is to sauté the pasta. But be careful: you will need a nice glass of cooking water! Then put the pecorino in an unlit pan, and once the pasta is ready, drain it and add the cooking water, pepper and bacon. Light the fire and quickly jump!
  5. Preparation is complete. Enjoy your meal !

How to make a creamier gricia

creamy gricia pasta
creamy gricia pasta

To obtain a greater creaminess , however, you just need to make a simple pecorino sauce.

  1. Put the pecorino in a container together with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, a handful of pepper and a ladle of cooking water.
  2. Blend everything with an immersion blender , checking that the sauce reaches the right consistency,
  3. Once done, season the pasta with the pecorino cream, adding the crispy bacon and a handful of pepper.

How to avoid lumps?

The risk, however you proceed, could be that of getting unpleasant lumps of cheese due to the thermal shock . To avoid this inconvenience, three small precautions will be enough:

  • wait a moment from when you have taken the cooking water;
  • also make sure you have finely grated the cheese;
  • act fast!

Gricia sauce: what kind of pasta to use?

What is the original gricia? Good question! We have chosen spaghetti in our recipe, but as always, the choice of pasta is up to you. If you want to follow the tradition, however, then you have to prepare either spaghetti or rigatoni, perfect for picking up the sauce . But let’s see some greedy alternatives !

– Spaghetti alla gricia: as we said, spaghetti is a perfect long pasta to collect creamy sauces as in this case. If you love fast cooking and this type of pasta, you have found the recipe for you.

– Tonnarelli alla gricia: the main spaghetti variant are they, the tonnarelli , slightly more full-bodied and ideal for those who love to feel pasta under their teeth.

– Rigatoni alla gricia: for a greedy alternative you can use rigatoni, which are ideal for those who prefer short pasta. Also in this case we are dealing with a pasta that collects the sauce well thanks to the small streaks on the surface and the hole in the center . A recommendation: rigatoni must be beautiful al dente!

– Gricia half sleeves: this type of pasta is also very popular for this recipe. The half sleeves are also a classic for carbonara, they should be left a little al dente and collect the sauce very well. To try!

– Bucatini alla gricia: Roman tradition prefers them paired with amatriciana , another first course of Lazio excellence … but who says you can’t try them in this version too? The bucatini, thanks to their hole in the center, will cook in a short time and will be able to collect the sauce well… even if you don’t expect the same result as spaghetti.

Pasta alla gricia: origin

Roman first courses scheme
Roman first courses scheme

We have already mentioned the etymology and meaning of its name, but what is the history of this dish that has become a symbol of Lazio cuisine? To find out, you have to take a step back to the ancient Roman taverns, the favorite place for the birth of this very rich and tasty pasta.

You may not know that during the period of the maximum expansion of the Roman Empire , taverns were born, and it seems that gricia was born in some of these, around 400 AD.

In addition to the color, gray, of which we have already spoken, the name could however refer to the Grici , or the bakers from Germany and Switzerland and in particular from the Canton of Grisons. They spent their time in the shop, where they seem to have given rise to this dish, easy to prepare and simple because it consists of few ingredients .

Other theories, however, refer to Grisciano , a small village in the province of Rieti, which was the birthplace of this pasta dish. A story that is somewhat reminiscent of that of Amatrice , among other things a few steps from the village.

Also try our pasta with bacon : follow our original recipe step by step and you will get a (another) dream first course!

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