While most pork bacon products are taken from the belly of a pig, guanciale is made by drying the meat from a hog’s jowls. Though the resulting meat is leaner than traditional pork pieces, it has a noticeably richer flavor. It is this richness, combined with a delicate porkiness, that more than justifies the meat’s three-week drying period. Making guanciale may require a little more planning than simply buying good-quality bacon or pancetta, but its abundance of flavor distinguishes guanciale from the rest, making every dish that much more succulent.

At Babbo, we use our homemade guanciale all over the place, but nowhere is its fullness of flavor and richness more celebrated than in our bucatini all’amatriciana.