Pasta alla gricia is one of the most versatile Roman pastas, and probably basic: add tomato for amatriciana, add egg for carbonara or remove the pork for cacio e pepe. As an origin story goes, shepherds in Amatrice brought guanciale, pecorino and pasta with them on their travels and made these dishes for sustenance. Guanciale (salted cheek) is not particularly common in the United States, so in the spirit of the shepherds who used what was available to them, salami is used in this recipe. Like guanciale, salami releases deep-flavored fat to build up the pasta sauce. But salami makes for even more crunchy chunks of meat to top this rich, silky, deceptively simple pasta.