Spaghetti Alla Gricia Di Claudio Gargioli

Gricia is sometimes described as carbonara minus the egg, or amatriciana without the tomato, but such descriptions fail to acknowledge that spaghetti alla gricia is a pure and satisfying dish all on its own. It’s likely that some form of gricia came before those of others, introduced by immigrants arriving from the Apennies, and was modified when it reached the Italian capital. In our opinion, you can find the finest incarnation at Armando al Pantheon, a trattoria located a mere hundred feet from the Pantheon. When Armando Gargioli opened this spot in 1961, the tables were filled with the city’s politicians and poets. Today, this audience shares space with hungry tourists, too, who come to one of the few remaining trattorias in central Rome where high standards of quality are maintained. The secret to Armando’s gricia, now dutifully reproduced by his son Claudio, is white wine, which infuses the savory guanciale. 


  • Sea Salt
  • 1 pound Spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil extra virgin
  • 7 ounces guanciale cut into 1 ½ x ½ - inch strips 
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup Pecorino Romano grated
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil over high heat. Salt the water. When the salt dissolved, add the pasta and cook until very al dente. Drain, reserving the cooking water. 
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over low heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the guanciale and cook, stirring, until golden brown, about 8 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until the alcohol aroma dissipates, about a minute more. 
  • Add a small ladle of the pasta cooking water to the skillet with the guanciale and bring to a simmer. Add the pasta and another small ladle of its cooking water to the pan with the guanciale. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring vigorously, until  a thick sauce forms, adding more water if necessary to achieve the desired consistency. 
  • Remove the skillet from the heat, add ¾ cup of the pecorino romano, and mix thoroughly. Season to taste. 
  • Plate and sprinkle each portion with some of the remaining pecorino romano and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.