Orecchiette with Guanciale, Florentine Zucchini, and Pecorino

Today’s recipe is one you won’t forget. A star ingredient is guanciale, a fatty cured pork cheek similar to pancetta, as well as aged pecorino. A dish with distinct flavors that are reminiscent of the Italian countryside.

Serves 4


400g orecchiette
150g guanciale
5 Florentine zucchini
100g aged pecorino, grated
1 white onion
2 cloves of garlic


Separate the flower from the zucchini and chop the flowers into very thin pieces. Chop the zucchini into a brunoise and set aside. Finely mince the onion, then garlic, keeping them separate, and set aside.

Remove the external pepper and the skin of the guanciale and cut into small cubes. Place it in a pan and turn on the heat to medium. When the fat has melted and the guanciale is golden, remove and place on some paper towels to absorb the extra fat. Do not throw out the guanciale fat remaining in the pan.

In the same pan, cook the onion in the guanciale fat until golden. Then add the garlic, zucchini, and the zucchini flowers. Pan fry together for about 3 minutes and turn off the heat.

Cook the orecchiette al dente in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain the pasta and place it in the pan with the other ingredients. With the heat on, toss in the pan for a minute then remove from the heat. While still hot, add a bit of pasta cooking water and the pecorino, moving the pan vigorously until you obtain a creamy sauce.

Serve in a dish with some pecorino shavings on top. Buon appetito!