My Vatican Curia calendar confirmed this morning …
… that today is the Birthday of Rome…
… the 2765th Birthday.
This august anniversary called for a Roman supper.
In consultation with the great Roman Fabrizio I decided to make Bucatini alla gricia. Gricia is the pre-Columbian option for pasta, the forerunner of it’s variant prepared all’amatriciana (with tomato). There was a time before Italians had the tomato, which were brought from the New World.
Here is the mighty and slightly unwieldy bucatino.
The bucatino is in the middle flanked by a toothpick, a spaghetto, a chopstick, and a pencil.
Bucatini are thicker than spaghetti, obviously, and they have a small hole through their center.
I didn’t originally think I was posting on this so I didn’t think to take of pic of the guanciale until it was in the pan. Guanciale is type of “bacon”, roughly speaking, but from the cheek of the pig. I had some guanciale in my freezer, sent by one of you kind readers from my wishlist (where it occasionally makes an appearance – thanks FZ!).
This is simplicity. Cut the guanciale into small chunks and in a frying pan over medium heat start browning gently. The fat will become translucent and start to melt. You want the fat, because it constitutes the “sauce”.
Add a bit of the water from the pot in which you are cooking your bucatini (also sent by a reader, btw). This will deglaze and create a little “sauce” as the fat emulsifies.
Add your bucatini directly into the pan and stir it around.
Plate with a very generous addition of grated pecorino cheese.
I added the single chive to annoy liberals.
For dessert, I enjoyed the perfect combination of a banana with little smears of Nutella.
Happy Birthday Rome!