15 February 2011

Tagliatelle with guanciale and leek

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.



  1. Mmm.... guanciale... very jealous of your chunk of it!

  2. Thanks Su-Lin. It is delicious. Not quite sure what else to do with it than fry in little bits really - it needs a good cook to get crispy.

  3. Gorgeous - I love simple pastas like this.

  4. Oliver, that looks so tasty. Nothing to beat such good ingredients in there. Nice touch with the leek and chilli, too.

  5. Thanks team. Yeah I do like a simple recipe like that, you can really taste it all against the pasta.

  6. That looks delicious! Is it like lardo in that you can eat it raw and thinly sliced or do you have to cook it? Whichever way I bet it is truly mouthwatering!

  7. Thanks Wendy. I have only had it cooked, I get the impression that it mainly how it is used but could be wrong...

    Maybe really thin could be good like you say.