Spaghetti with Garlic, Onions and Guanciale

Spaghetti with Garlic, Onions and Guanciale
Photo: © David Malosh
4 to 6


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 pound guanciale or pancetta, finely diced

  • 1 small onion, finely chopped

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • Pinch of crushed red pepper

  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for serving

  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil until shimmering. Add the guanciale and cook over moderate heat until browned and slightly crisp, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the guanciale to a plate. Add the onion, garlic and crushed red pepper to the skillet and cook over moderately low heat until the onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Return the guanciale to the skillet and keep warm.

  2. Meanwhile, in a large pot of salted boiling water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the skillet and cook over moderately high heat for 1 minute. Add the reserved cooking water and the 1/2 cup of grated cheese and toss to thoroughly coat the spaghetti. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to shallow bowls and serve immediately, passing additional Pecorino Romano at the table.

Suggested Pairing

Bright, tart Barbera d'Alba: 2008 Massolino.

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