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Jan 21, 2009 08:53 PM

Guanciale recipes? (not pasta or pizza)

Can anyone recommend a good way to serve guanciale that does not involve pasta or pizza? My boyfriend got a big chunk and we are trying to brainstorm ways to use it other than putting it in a sauce for pasta all'amatriciana or alla carbonara or slicing it on pizza...
Thanks for any ideas!

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  1. slice it super thin and top crostini, put it in sandwiches, wrap dates and roast.

    1. You're missing the biggie guanciale pasta, which is alla gricia, aka amatriciana in bianco, JUST guanciale and freshly grated pecorino romano moistened with the pasta water.

      Other than on pasta, it is traditional in stewed fresh fava beans and also with pan-fried wedges of artichokes. Another traditional thing is to slice it thin and fry it like bacon then sprinkle with vinegar. Use it wherever you might use bacon. Try it with brussels sprouts. The ultimate is thin-sliced on warm focaccia so that the heat of the bread softens the fat.

      1 Reply
      1. re: mbfant

        I use it with roasted brussels sprouts and cauliflowers and came out great. Also good with any greens (pretty much) like sauteed kales or spinach, or with asparagus.

        As mbfant mentioned, you can use it like bacon. Sprinkle it on mac and cheese, or use it to start the base for clam chowder. You can also use it as toppings for salad.

      2. Use it as you would use bacon. Whether as a topping for sandwiches/burgers, use it and its fat to flavor vegetables, etc, put in eggs, etc.

        1. well we made perciatelli (similar to bucatini) all'amatriciana last night with a side of brussels sprouts with guanciale and garlic. both were delicious! i found a recipe for pasta alla gricia in the new york times and am looking forward to try that too... and sliced thin on warm focaccia sounds delicious... kind of like lardo, one of my other favorite italian "meats" (in quotes b/c lardo is obviously all fat, no meat!) thanks everyone for the ideas!

          1 Reply
          1. re: hungry_united

            I have to object to a side of brussels sprouts with the matriciana. Brussels sprouts AFTER the pasta!

            Gricia is quite easy. Use a top quality pasta, like Latini or any of the nice ones that have a very rough surface and throw off starch. Cut the guanciale into little strips (about 1/4 lb for a package of spaghetti or bucatini or even rigatoni, but really as much as you like). Put the pieces in a large frying pan, cold, then sauté slowly till they're golden but not crisp. Remove the guanciale and leave the fat in the pan. Cook the pasta al dente and lift it into the pan with the fat over very low heat. Reserve at least a cup of the water. Toss till the pasta is coated. Remove from the heat. Toss in some handfuls of grated pecorino romano (not parmigiano) and moisten with some of the pasta water, which should make a little creamy sauce. Add a little black pepper, freshly ground, and the reserved guanciale pieces. Toss and serve immediately.

          2. At one of our favourite restaurants, they have an appetizer of guanciale wrapped shrimp! They are really good!