Cafe Cortina prepares Pasta alla Gricia

Pasta alla Gricia - Rigatoni with Pancetta and Pecorino Romano


  • 8 oz of pancetta, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1 Tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound of Rigatoni
  • 1 Teaspoon of Ground Pepper + extra for serving
  • 3 oz pecorino romano cheese, grated fine + more for serving


  1. Slice each round of pancetta into rectangular pieces 1/2 inch
  2. Heat the pancetta and oil in a pan stirring frequently, until fat is rendered and pancetta is deep golden brown but still has slight pinkish transfer pancetta to a bowl and set a side.
  3. Pour the fat from the pan into a measuring cup, you will need about 1/3 cup of fat 
  4. In a large pot bring three quarts of salted water to a boil, add pasta and cook stirring often until al dente drain pasta in a colander, reserving pasta water add pepper and 3 cups of reserved water into a pot, add the reserve 1/3 cup of fat in to the pot and bring it to boil over hight heat, boil mixture rapidly, scraping up any browned bits until emulsified and reduce to about 1 1/2 cup about 5 min add more water if needed.
  5. Reduce heat to low, add pasta and pancetta and stir to evenly coat. at this point you can add pecorino romano and stir until cheese is melted and sauce is slightly thickened about 1 1/2 minutes.
  6. Turn off heat, adjust sauce consistency with remaining reserved pasta water as needed, transfer pasta to a platter and serve immediately, use extra pepper and cheese if necessary