Bucatini alla Gricia
Andrae Bopp, Owner Andrae’s Kitchen—La Porte Brune
3/4 lb. thinly sliced guanciale*
1 lb. bucatini** pasta
Pecorino Romano cheese, for grating
Freshly ground black pepper
*Unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig jowl or cheeks. Pancetta may be used as a substitute.
**Thick spaghetti-like pasta with a hole running through the center.
Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 Tablespoons of Kosher salt.
Place the guanciale slices in a 12-14 inch sauté pan in a single layer and cook over medium-low heat until most of the fat has been rendered from the meat, turning occasionally.
Cook the bucatini in the boiling water according to the package directions, until al dente. While the pasta is cooking, ladle some of the pasta water into the pan with the guanciale and reduce slightly to a sauce-like consistency. Drain the pasta and add it to the simmering sauce. Add freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Divide the pasta among four warmed pasta bowls. Top with freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese and serve immediately.