Italian Christmas Cookbook Discover the Joy of Festive Cooking: "The Italian Christmas Cookbook" is Now Available on Amazon!
Buy on Amazon

Pasta alla Gricia, the Original Recipe, The Authentic Italian Recipe

Pasta alla Gricia is a dish rooted in Roman culinary tradition, crafted from a few simple yet flavorful ingredients. When pasta, guanciale, Pecorino Romano cheese, and pepper come together, they create a creamy and rich pasta dish that's perfect for any occasion.
Jump To Recipe
Pasta alla Gricia, the Original Recipe, The Authentic Italian Recipe
  • Difficulty Easy
  • Prep 10 minutes
  • Cook 15 minutes
  • Servings 4 people

Pasta alla Gricia, with its robust flavors and rich history, stands as a testament to the culinary prowess of Rome. Delving deep into its origins reveals an intriguing connection with the term “gricio,” a moniker that, in the 1400s, was associated with bakers of German descent. While it remains shrouded in mystery whether these bakers played a direct role in the inception of this delightful dish or if the connection is tangential, one fact is indisputable: Pasta alla Gricia is a proud gem in Rome’s culinary crown.

This dish has often been considered the bridge between two other Roman classics. The authentic Pasta alla Gricia recipe weaves together elements from the renowned Pasta alla Carbonara and the iconic Pasta Cacio e Pepe. It’s as if it captures the soul of Cacio e Pepe and infuses it with the heartiness of crispy guanciale, reminiscent of Carbonara. Such a harmonious blend of ingredients and flavors has led many to affectionately dub it the White Carbonara Pasta.

If you’re keen to immerse yourself in the culinary experience of crafting the perfect Pasta alla Gricia, adhere closely to the preparation process of Cacio e Pepe. But here’s where it diverges and truly comes into its own: the pasta undergoes a unique “risotto-ing” process (sautéing the pasta) in the pan where the guanciale has been crisped to perfection. As the fat from the guanciale melds with the starch-laden pasta water, magic ensues. This fusion creates a luscious, creamy texture that is unparalleled, making every bite an indulgent journey through Rome’s gastronomic legacy.

More Authentic Italian Pasta Recipes to Try:


Copy Ingredients


  1. To prepare Pasta alla Gricia, take the guanciale, cut it into strips and brown it without adding oil in a large frying pan until crispy. Be careful that it does not fry thanks to the fat it will release during cooking. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in plenty of hot salted water.

    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 1
    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 2
  2. Put the grated Pecorino Romano Cheese in a bowl, add some of the pasta cooking water and mix well with a spoon. You should obtain a mixture with a consistency similar to ricotta.

    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 5
    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 6
  3. Take out the well-crisped guanciale leaving the grease it will have released in the pan. Drain the pasta well al dente (2-3 minutes less than the time indicated on the package) put it in the pan with a ladle of cooking water and continue cooking (“risotto-ing”) the pasta for a minute or so (until you get a creamy texture).

    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 3
    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 4
  4. When the pasta is cooked through, add the pepper, crispy guanciale and mix well. Remove the pan from heat, add the pecorino cheese and stir.

    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 10
    Ricetta Pasta Alla Gricia 11
  5. After the mantecatura, the Pasta alla Gricia is ready to be served and enjoyed.

    Ricetta Pasta Gricia


For a perfect Pasta alla Gricia we recommend toasting the pepper a little. We recommend that you serve the pasta immediately after preparing.


Pasta alla Gricia should strictly be eaten at the moment, but if it really should be left over you can store it unopened in an airtight container placed in the refrigerator.