Guanciale, a quintessential Italian delicacy, has earned its place in the hearts and kitchens of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Hailing from Italy, this unique and flavourful ingredient is a key component in traditional Italian cuisine, cherished for its rich, fatty goodness and distinctive taste.

Guanciale is an unsmoked Italian cured meat, crafted from pork cheek. Essentially, it’s pork jowl’s answer to bacon, yet it has a distinct character that sets it apart.

What do Italians use guanciale for?

In Italy, guanciale is celebrated for its versatility and its pivotal role in countless iconic dishes. Its umami — that savoury, meaty flavour — can elevate even the simplest of meals. However, it's in the holy trinity of Roman pasta dishes: Carbonara, Amatriciana, and Gricia — where guanciale truly shines.

These irresistible guanciale recipes are close to our hearts at The Deli Society, and we're excited to share our favourites with you. Once you've mastered the art of cutting and preparing the Italian delicacy, discover three of the best guanciale recipes you’ll find on the web.

3 delicious guanciale recipes

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Beloved worldwide, Spaghetti alla Carbonara has found a place in every nook and cranny of pop culture, from La Dolce Vita and Eat Pray Love to The Office and The Sopranos.

So what is it that makes Spaghetti alla Carbonara so good? For one, the dish is all about indulgent simplicity. This Roman specialty consists of al dente spaghetti, typically made with eggs, Pecorino Romano cheese, guanciale, black pepper, and sometimes a touch of garlic.

The best part about Spaghetti alla Carbonara is that it's quick and easy to whip up. So next time you're craving some comforting carbs, give this dish a try, and you won't be disappointed.

Bucatini all’Amatriciana

Bucatini all'Amatriciana is a beloved Italian pasta dish originating from Amatrice in central Italy. The star is bucatini, a long, thick pasta with a hollow centre, perfect for capturing the rich sauce.

The sauce is where the magic happens. It’s a heavenly mix of crispy guanciale, ripe tomatoes, Pecorino Romano cheese, red pepper flakes, and black pepper. The result is a marriage of sweet, spicy, and salty flavours that cling to the bucatini, creating a taste sensation like no other.

Try our Bucatini all’Amatriciana recipe
Pasta alla Gricia

Pasta alla Gricia is like a bear hug on a plate. This simple yet delicious Italian dish is all about four fabulous ingredients: pasta, guanciale, Pecorino Romano cheese, and black pepper.

Pasta alla Gricia is a reminder that sometimes, less is more. It shows that with a handful of top-notch ingredients and a little love in the kitchen, you can whip up a dish that's pure Roman magic — a real comfort food favourite.

What else can you do with guanciale?

Guanciale is a versatile ingredient that extends beyond its traditional role in pasta dishes. Its rich, porky flavour and distinctive texture make it a great addition to other dishes too.

Here are some alternative uses for guanciale:

  • Loaded jacket potatoes: Crispy guanciale pieces add a delicious smoky, porky punch to stuffed baked potatoes, elevating this classic comfort food.

  • Salad crunch: Sprinkle finely chopped guanciale over salads for a delightful crunch and a burst of umami, making your greens all the more enticing.

  • Pizza topping: Instead of bacon, try guanciale as a pizza topping for a unique, slightly spicy twist that pairs perfectly with cheese and vegetables.

  • Flavourful omelettes: Add guanciale into your morning omelette or frittata for an extra burst of savoury goodness that will kickstart your day with Italian flair.

Our Tuscan guanciale comes from small, family-owned farms, where the meat is sustainably raised, grass-fed, and free-range. It pairs 
wonderfully with a crisp, acidic white wine like sauvignon blanc. Why not try making one of these guanciale pasta recipes at home?

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