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Spaghetti Carbonara

  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 servings 1x

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Ingredients

  • 1 pound (or 500 grams) thick spaghetti (or your preferred pasta shape)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 ounces (60 g) freshly-grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • sea salt and freshly-cracked black pepper
  • 7 ounces (200 g) diced guanciale (or pancetta or thick-cut bacon)

Instructions

  1. Heat the pasta water. Heat a large stockpot of generously-salted water until boiling.
  2. Whisk together the egg mixture. In a measuring cup or medium mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, egg yolks, grated cheese, plus a few twists of freshly-cracked black pepper until combined.  Set aside for later.
  3. Cook the guanciale. Meanwhile, cook the guanciale (or pancetta/bacon) in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until browned and slightly-crispy, about 7 minutes.  Remove pan from the heat, use a slotted spoon to transfer the guanciale to a clean plate (leaving the leftover grease in the pan) and set both aside for later.
  4. Cook the pasta. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until 1 minute shy of al dente.  Midway through, use a measuring cup to carefully scoop out about 1 cup of the starchy pasta water.  Then while vigorously whisking the egg mixture with one hand, very slowly drizzle the hot water into the eggs with your other hand until the water is incorporated.  (Be sure to constantly whisk the eggs, or else they will scramble!)
  5. Toss the pasta. Once the pasta is nearly al dente and ready to go, use tongs or a spider spoon to transfer the pasta immediately from the stockpot to the large sauté pan with the bacon grease.  Place the sauté pan over medium heat, add an additional 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water to the pasta, then toss, toss, toss the pasta for 1 minute until it is al dente.
  6. Add in the eggs and guanciale. Then, using one hand to continue tossing the pasta, use your other hand to slowly drizzle the egg mixture into the pasta and toss until combined.  (Do not add the eggs too quickly or they will scramble!)  Continue tossing until the eggs form a glossy sauce that coats all of the pasta, adding in extra scoops of starchy pasta water if needed to thin out the sauce.  Add the guanciale and toss to combine.
  7. Serve. Serve immediately, garnished with an extra crack of black pepper (plus extra grated cheese, if desired).


Notes

Recipe edits: Recipe updated in July 2020.