Pasta alla Carbonara
A classic Italian tradition and iconic dish using spaghetti but spaghettoni, fettuccine, rigatoni and other larger short pasta types. An important rule is definitely no cream is added, the creaminess is from eggs, cheese and even a touch of pasta water. The only acceptable variation is either guanciale to pancetta and pecorino romano to parmigiano, or 50:50 cheese mix. Let’s create this epic dish.
Serves approx. 4 people
200g guanciale or pancetta: remove rind, dice or thin baton cut
4 large eggs, whisked (or 4 egg yolks & 1 whole egg)
250g pecorino romano cheese (or parmigiano; or 50:50 mix), grated
1 packet pasta or approx. 400g fresh pasta
Reserve some pasta water
To serve: Top with extra grated pecorino & black pepper
Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to boil, add cooking salt then add pasta. Cook until al dente, as per packet instructions or only few minutes if using fresh homemade pasta.
In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, add the pecorino, black pepper and mix thoroughly then set aside.
While the pasta is cooking, lightly sauté the guanciale/pancetta in a large frypan. No oil is required as the fat will render and melt down. Remove a small portion to use for serving later.
Using tongs, remove cooked pasta from the water and mix through the guanciale/pancetta in frying pan.
Take frypan off the heat.
Add approx. 100ml of pasta water to the egg mix whilst whisking, this will help stop the eggs scrambling. Keep a little more pasta water aside in case you need to add extra later.
Pour the egg mix and stir to fully coat the pasta, it will thicken. Add extra black pepper if needed. If required, add extra pasta water to keep it creamy and glossy but not watery.
Place frypan back on low heat, stir and combine well and only heat for 1-2min.
Serve immediately - top with extra pecorino, black pepper and some reserved crispy guanciale/pancetta.