© Copyright 1995-2017, Clay Irving <email@example.com>, Manhattan Beach, CA USA
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Servings: 4 to 6
1 pound dry spaghetti or rigatoni
1 tablespoon olive oil
8 ounces guanciale or pancetta, cut into roughly ½-inch cubes
1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Bring a large pot, about 6 quarts, of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. When the pasta is done, reserve 1 cup of the water, then drain.
While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and sauté until it's crispy, browned, and the fat has rendered, 10 to 12 minutes.
Add the reserved 1 cup of pasta water to the skillet and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and the ½ cup of grated cheese, tossing to combine. Continue to toss and stir the pasta until the sauce is thick and creamy, about 2 to 3 minutes. Season liberally with black pepper.
Serve immediately, with remaining grated cheese.
Since guanciale and Pecorino are naturally quite salty, the dish should not need additional salt. However, taste and adjust if needed.