A kitchen in -a sort of- lockdown: La Gricia

May 29, 2020

Let's just say that this has been a crazy week.

I have had no time for filming and posting, but visited 3 hospitals in 3 days (Spoiler alert, ALL WELL)


Hospital n. 1: San Donato in Arezzo

I don't have enough words to thank these women, not only for the professionalism that they always display, but also for the patience they show EVERY TIME I happen to go there. 

I was there for my post cancer routine yearly mammogram. 

They also performed a routine sonogram and promoted me to a every other year mammogram protocol. 

For which I am immensely happy. (But still will check yearly)


Hospital n. 2 Le Scotte Siena

The appointment I had in May 9th, for my post bariatric surgery blood and enzymes -and whathever the hell they control- tests, was moved to May 26th. 

All is well, I am down 27kg since I have started and have no pain in my right knee (which is the reason I have done this operation, to start with).

I have not enough words to thank the whole of the hospital staff for their professionalism and patience....


Hospital n. 3 Santa Margherita, Cortona

The doctor that checked me wants to have an exam before performing a minor but necessary procedure.

I have not enough words to thank the whole of the hospital staff for their professionalism and patience...


Wait, did I already say this?


They are truly professionals and kind, I am in love with our SSN (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale).

They never, EVER, failed me.


I am also immensely happy for the easing of this lockdown, not all is open, and what is open is not in full force, but the sole idea of being able to see my friends has lifted my spirit to the highest of levels.

Yes, with a mask on and phisically distanciated, but still!


We also , with a few of them, indulged to a lunch in a local restaurant, and celebrated Robbin's birthday.



But all this left me very, very tired.

So I was not in the mood for a very complicated plate of pasta and I had no time to buy much, so here's to you the one ingredient only pasta sauce.








  • 500gr/ 1 lb spaghetti –NOT LINGUINE OR ANGEL’S HAIR, SPAGHETTI!

  • 250gr/9oz sliced GUANCIALE, which is cured pork cheek, if anything else fails, pancetta or bacon will do–your choice if smoked or not- originally not smoked, just so you know you might need a bit of EVOO

  • Salt, pepper

  • Pecorino Romano (or if you are like me, Parmigiano Reggiano)




Put the water to boil, for 500gr of spaghetti you need a good size pan, when it boils add the salt, a good handful.


Aside sauté the guanciale cut in sticks and let the fat melt slowly on a medium flame.  


Shouldn’t end up very crunchy.

But you should end up with a lot of rendered fat


No it doesn’t need to be crispy, but if you like it crispy, crisp it up. Do not throw away the rendered fat.


When the pasta has cooked for about 4 minutes (very, very undercooked), drain them and put them all in  the guanciale skillet, that is still on the flame.


Let the spaghetti absorb all this fat and once they start to sizzle, pour in one ladle of psta water at the time, stirring and adding the next ladle of pasta only when the previous is absorbed. This will go on for the rest of the cooking time, about 5 min.


If you do this correctly, at the end you will have a creamy pasta sauce that covers each strand of spaghetti.


Add a little patsa water again, and a handful of the cheese you are using, toss well and serve.


NO you cannot eat the bowl.





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