Cacio e Pepe con Guanciale
History: Cacio e Pepe con Guanciale is a traditional pasta dish from the Lazio region of Italy, specifically Rome. It dates back to ancient Roman times when the shepherds would make this simple yet flavorful dish using local ingredients.
Cook the spaghetti or Bucatini in a large pot of salted boiling water until 'al dente.' Drain, reserving some of the cooking water.
In a large skillet, cook the diced Guanciale over medium heat until crispy and golden brown. Remove from the skillet and set aside.
In the same skillet, add the cooked pasta along with a splash of the reserved cooking water. Toss to coat the pasta.
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the grated Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly ground black pepper. Toss vigorously until the cheese melts and forms a creamy sauce.
Season with salt to taste, keeping in mind that the Guanciale and cheese are already salty.
Serve the Cacio e Pepe con Guanciale immediately, garnished with additional Pecorino Romano cheese and black pepper. Serves 4.