25 February 2019
Pasta alla gricia and espresso
I cooked "pasta alla gricia" with guanciale from Lubriano kindly gifted to us by friends Jacopo and Luciana who came to China with us.
I only cooked 300 grams of spaghetti even though there are eight of us because lots of food was already cooked, and che Chinese like to have a little bit of many dishes at every meal.
I was slightly concerned at first. Despite the fact that pork fat is a familiar taste in China, its combination with Italian spaghetti is new for them and my friends and family are not always very curious to try new foods and flavors they are not familiar with. I slightly over-cooked the pasta, a couple of minutes over my usual al dente texture to make it easier for them, as Chinese noodles are always on the soft side compared to their Italian counterparts. I also avoided adding cheese, though the recipe would call for pecorino romano.
Amazingly, the gricia went down well, it was all finished in 5 minutes! And we used the traditional Chinese chopsticks of course, no forks or table knives in this home!
I then decided to push my luck and offered everyone coffee. I have a Nespresso machine here which I took with me from Europe. I actually tried this before, but my in-laws never liked my nespresso, they said it smelled and tasted like something burnt.
The other relatives and friends loved it though it may be in part because I offered to add a little bit of sugar. Even the little kids wanted it, and I gave them some decaf with brown sugar!