Pasta alla Gricia is a simple pasta dish based on cured pork, black pepper, and Pecorino Romano. The fat from the pork (guanciale is traditional, but easier-to-find pancetta works well) combines with starchy pasta cooking water and cheese to create a creamy sauce for the pasta. For consistent results, we cook the pasta to al dente in half the usual amount of water and then add the extra-starchy pasta cooking water to the rendered pork fat and reduce the mixture to a specific volume. For our Arugula Salad with Grapes, Fennel, Gorgonzola, and Pecans, we add ingredients to temper the assertiveness of the arugula while accommodating its lively flavor. Grapes and blue cheese add sweet and salty counterpoints to the sharp, peppery greens; pecans and fennel contribute crunch and freshness. For the dressing, we add a spoonful of jam, which adds fruity sweetness and pulls the flavors of the salad in line.
Printable Shopping Lists: Pasta alla Gricia and Arugula Salad