Classic Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
What you need:
8 ounces guanciale, thinly sliced (can substitute pancetta or slab bacon cut into small pieces)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, more for garnish
4 eggs, room temperature
1 pound spaghetti
salt to taste
What to do:
1. Start Pasta: In a large pot, bring 6 quarts of salted water to a rolling boil.
2. Cook Guanciale: In a large skillet, heat oil. Stir in guanciale and cook (stirring occasionally, until lightly browned (approximately 6 minutes). Stir in pepper and cook an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer contents of skillet to a large mixing bowl. Allow to cool slightly.
3. Finish Pasta: Add spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until al dente (approximately 8-10 minutes). Drain pasta and reserve 1 cup pasta water.
4. Finish Dish: Add the grated cheese and eggs to the slightly cooled guanciale. Using a wooden spoon, vigorously stir the mixture together until it become thick sauce (mayonnaise consistency). Transfer the cooked pasta (still hot) to the bowl and toss it with the sauce. Add a little pasta water at a time until the sauce coats the noodles and is creamy (you probably won’t need all of the water). Salt and pepper to taste.
To Serve: Serve immediately and garnish with more Parmesan.
Note: Guanciale is made by rubbing in spice and drying the meat from a hog’s jowls. From start to finish, guanciale takes a minimum of four weeks, but the wait is worth it.