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Carbonara is a very simple dish, yet can often be over-complicated. Traditionally, it’s made using guanciale (cured pork cheek) and salty pecorino, which is a sheep’s milk cheese. My recipe embraces these traditions. However, if you can’t find guanciale and pecorino, then pancetta and Parmesan are the next best things.
100 grams guanciale, roughly diced (or pancetta)
2 free range eggs, plus 1 free range egg yolk
50 grams grated pecorino (or Parmesan)
2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
200 grams spaghetti
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Place the two eggs plus additional yolk in a bowl with the pecorino and pepper. Whisk to combine and set aside.
Place a large non-stick fry pan over medium heat. Add the guanciale and cook for 5-7 minutes until crispy, then set aside.
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil and cook the spaghetti until al dente.
Using tongs, remove the pasta from the water and add it to the pan with the cooked guanciale. Toss to combine, then add the egg mixture and toss in the pan until well coated.
Add a tablespoon of the pasta cooking water to loosen up the pasta and keep tossing, adding more water as required. (If you add too much to begin with you’ll end up thinning the sauce too much.) The combination of the eggs, pecorino, pasta water and tossing should create a nice creamy sauce – this is how you make real carbonara.
Once you have achieved this, serve immediately with extra pepper and grated pecorino if desired.