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Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Pasta with Pancetta and Pecorino

Pasta with Pancetta and Pecorino
Pasta with Pancetta and Pecorino

Pasta alla Gricia
MAKES: 3 to 6 servings
TIME: 30 minutes

This wonderful little group of recipes shows you how to glean a lot of flavor from bits of crisp-cooked meat,
grated cheese, and freshly ground black pepper, the variations building in complexity from there.
The most common meat for these pastas is pancetta—salted, cured, and rolled pork belly—which is
available at almost any decent Italian deli and many supermarkets, but you can also use bacon (or even better, if you can find it, guanciale, which is cured pig’s jowl; see page 982 for mail-order sources). Pecorino Romano is the cheese of choice here, but Parmesan is also good

Salt
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, or more as needed
1/2 cup (about 4 ounces) chopped pancetta, guanciale,
or bacon
1 pound linguine or other long pasta
1/2 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese, or more to
taste
Freshly ground black pepper


1- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Put the oil and pancetta in a medium skillet over medium
heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until nicely browned, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat.
2- Cook the pasta in the boiling water until tender but not mushy. Drain it, reserving a bit of the cooking
water.
3- Toss the pasta with the pancetta and its juices; stir in the cheese. If the mixture is dry, add a little of the
pasta-cooking water (or a little olive oil). Taste and adjust the seasoning, then add black pepper (you want a lot) and serve.
Pasta Carbonara. Basically pasta with bacon and eggs:
While the pasta is cooking, warm a large bowl and beat 3 eggs in it. Stir in about 1/2 cup freshly grated
Parmesan and the pancetta and its juices. When the pasta is done, drain it and immediately toss with the
egg mixture. If the mixture is dry (unlikely), add a little pasta-cooking water. Add plenty of black pepper
and some more Parmesan to taste and serve.
Pasta all’Amatriciana. The balance of sweet onion, salty
bacon, and acid tomatoes is incredible: After Step, remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and, in the
juices left behind, sauté 1 medium onion, sliced, over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until well softened, about 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and let the mixture cool a bit (this will prevent spattering). Stir
in 2 cups chopped tomato (drained canned are fine) and turn the heat back to medium. Cook the sauce,
stirring occasionally, while you cook the pasta. When the pasta is done, drain it and toss it with the tomato
sauce, the reserved pancetta, and at least 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan.
Pasta with Bacon and Dried Tomatoes. After Step 1,
remove the pancetta with a slotted spoon and, in the juices left behind, gently cook 1/2 cup sliced or
chopped dried tomatoes over medium-low heat. Keep the heat on, and when the pasta is done, add a couple tablespoons of the pasta-cooking water to the tomatoes and stir until they absorb the water and plump a bit. Add the reserved pancetta and the pasta and at
least 1/2 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano or Parmesan.

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