I got some goodies in Bologna a few weeks ago and wanted to try this guanciale I got, along with bottarga (tuna, not the phenomenally expensive mullet version) and a fat rock of parmesan, from a nice looking deli. It's made from the cured jowl of a pig and I had never had it before.
This is just a simple pasta combo - the meat has a deep, almost dusty savouriness to it, the leeks offer a bit of greenery and the chilli and garlic (plus some parmesan and black pepper at the end) complete the savoury megamix.
Ingredients (for one)
- eight fat matchsticks of guanciale
- one garlic clove
- one pinch dried chilli
- one medium leek
- one big grate parmesan
Fry the guanciale. The fat has an amazing perlescent quality and becomes translucent when heated. I recommend going through the translucent stage and well into the stage of crisp - it's going to be a but rubbery otherwise. Some of the fat renders out and will coat the pasta if boosted with a drop of olive oil (definitely time to bring out the extra-spesh-extra-virgin).
When this is half way done add the leek to soften. I like a lot of leek and wish I had put more in but this is at your discretion naturally! Add the garlic and chilli half way through the leek softening. When everything is looking good add to some cooked pasta (you’ve had that on the boil all this time, right?) and things should be looking lovely.