They say that “All Roads Lead to Rome”, when in reality, they lead to Chef Chris’ Famous Mezze Maniche alla Carbonara. “In Rome, gricia is famous”, says Chris Reali. “It is the best pasta in the world”.
1 tbsp black peppercorns
5 cups of Pecorino Romano
320 gm guanciale
500 gm dried mezze maniche
- Dry-roast the black peppercorns in a frying pan over low heat. Keep swirling for 5 minutes, or until fragrant. Cool, then grind with a mortar and pestle. Combine with Pecorino Romano.
- Cook guanciale in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until fat renders and guanciale is crisp. Leave guanciale in the pan with 2 tbsp of fat and reserve 1 tbsp of fat separately.
- Cook pasta in a large saucepan of salted boiling water until just short of al dente (2 minutes less than the time on packet instructions). Drain, reserving 1 litre pasta water.
- Return pan with fat and guanciale to medium heat. Add pasta and a ladleful of pasta water, then increase heat to high and stir constantly, adding pasta water as needed until pasta is al dente (2 minutes). Remove pan from heat and gradually stir in pecorino mixture, reserving a little extra to serve. Add reserved fat, and stir constantly until emulsified, adding a little more pasta water if needed.
- Serve immediately and top with remaining pecorino mixture.