Rigatoni with Pecorino and Crispy Guanciale

Chef Nabil Hassed of Rome's Salumeria Roscioli puts his own spin on gricia, the classic Roman pasta made with guanciale (cured pork jowl) and pecorino cheese. Instead of leaving the guanciale soft, he crisps it up, then tops the dish with different kinds of black pepper, including fragrant Malaysian Sarawak. Slideshow:  More Rigatoni Recipes 

Rigatoni with Pecorino and Crispy Guanciale
Photo: © Andrea Wyner
Total Time:
30 mins


  • 8 ounces guanciale (sliced 1/3 inch thick and 1 inch long)

  • 1 pound rigatoni

  • 1 ¾ cups Pecorino Romano cheese (5 ounces grated, plus shavings for garnish)

  • Kosher salt

  • Ground black pepper (see Note preferably Sarawak)


  1. In a large nonstick skillet, cook the guanciale over moderately low heat, stirring, until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a paper towel–lined plate.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan of salted boiling water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain; reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta and reserved water to the saucepan and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until the liquid is slightly thickened, 2 minutes. Stir in the grated cheese. Fold in the guanciale; season with salt and pepper. Serve garnished with pecorino and more pepper.


Sarawak, a Malaysian black pepper, has flavors of fruit and chocolate. Look for it at specialty markets.

Suggested Pairing

A savory Lazio red.

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