Pasta Alla Carbonara is one of the most popular Italian dishes around the world. It consists of spaghetti tossed with pan fried guanciale and an egg and cheese sauce. The authentic recipe calls for Guanciale (cured pork jowl) and Pecorino Romano Cheese. If you can't find Guanciale or Pecorino you can always swap out for smoked bacon and parmigiano which are both more widely available. I find that using bacon doesn't materially change the flavour of the dish but using parmigiano does, it has a much stronger flavour and produces a very different flavour, both variations are delicious though. Under no circumstances should cream be included to call it a carbonara.
150g Dried Spaghetti
100g Guanciale (or smoked bacon), diced
100g Pecorino Romano Cheese (or Parmigiano Reggiano), finely grated
3 eggs (1 egg per portion + 1 egg), lightly beaten with a fork
Tablespoon Fresh Parsley, finely chopped
Freshly Cracked Black Pepper
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
First make sure you have all of your ingredients prepped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (make sure to add enough salt so it tastes a little salty)
Put the dried spaghetti in the pot to cook and at the same time start frying the diced guanciale on a low to medium heat. No need to add oil, the guanciale will release plenty of its own fat
Saute the guanciale until it is nicely crispy and the fat is rendered, if it looks done before the spaghetti is finished cooking turn the heat off and warm it back up quickly when the spaghetti is cooked
When the spaghetti is nicely cooked, take the spaghetti straight from the cooking water with a tongs and drop it into the pan. Add a splash of the cooking water too
Add the cheese, parsley and egg to the pan and immediately turn the heat off. Stir vigorously and keep stirring until the egg and cheese turn into a lovely creamy sauce, it won't take long, maybe a minute. You want to let the residual heat in the pan make the sauce creamy but you don't want to scramble the egg, it is a fine line.