Spaghetti alla Carbonara
This classic Roman pasta is one that appears on many Italian menus in the United States. The original preparation is however difficult to find. Preparations with bacon, cream and peas are just a few of the common variations, although not authentic. The recipe reflects the Roman origin of the dish.
Recipe courtesy of Chef Tony Mantuano
1/2 Pound guanciale cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oilc
3 large egg yolks
1 pound spaghetti
2 cups grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus extra for serving
2 cups grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or more to taste
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil
2. Set a medium skillet over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. After a minute add the guanciale. Cook until crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. When finished cooking, turn off the heat and let the guanciale rest.
3. Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti. Stir occasionally, until al dente about 3 minutes less than what the box advises.
4. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks with both Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheeses. Thin out this mixture with 3 to 4 tablespoons of the pasta boiling water, whisking a tablespoon at time until it’s smooth and creamy. Season with black pepper.
5. Strain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
6. Return the pasta back to the cooking pot, off the heat. Add the reserved pasta water and the guanciale plus all but 1/4 cup rendered guanciale fat. Toss to coat pasta. Add the egg and cheese mixture and stir to combine for 1 or 2 minutes.
7. Taste and check the seasoning and add more pepper if necessary.
8. Transfer to a warm serving platter or individual bowls. Garnish with additional grated Pecorino-Romano cheese.
9. Serve immediately.