How to cook guanciale
There are three main ways to cook guanciale – baking, sautéing, or pan-frying. Here are some tips and tricks for the different methods.
Baking your guanciale is a quick and easy way to make the most out of the cured meat. You can then add it to any dish to add a smoky and punchy flavourful addition.
- Preheat your oven 200°C.
- Slice guanciale into thin strips.
- Place the guanciale pieces on an oven-safe tray or baking sheet lined with parchment paper. No additional oil is needed as guanciale is naturally fatty.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the guanciale turns crispy and golden brown.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before using it in your favourite dishes.
A lot of Italian dishes will pair greens and vegetables with sauteed guanciale, but you can also pair it with omelettes and frittatas, or even your favourite potato dishes.
- In a pan, heat a dash of olive oil over medium heat.
- Add the sliced guanciale and sauté until it becomes crispy and lightly browned.
- Remove the guanciale from the pan, leaving the flavourful fat behind.
- This is when you can add your other ingredients, whether that’s the eggs for your omelette, your favourite green vegetable, or some crispy potatoes, and let them cook in the fat.
- Then add your crispy and golden guanciale back in.
Pan-frying is the best way to create the perfect Italian pasta dish.
- Slice the guanciale into thin strips.
- Heat a skillet or frying pan over medium-high heat. There's no need for extra oil as guanciale will release its own fat when heated.
- Add the sliced guanciale to the hot pan and cook until it turns crispy and golden brown, stirring occasionally. This should take about 6-8 minutes. Once the guanciale is crispy, remove it from the pan, leaving the rendered fat in the skillet.
- Use the guanciale fat to coat cooked pasta and combine it with other ingredients to create classic Italian pasta dishes like spaghetti alla Carbonara, bucatini all’Amatriciana, or pasta alla Gricia.