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Spaghetti alla Carbonara
8 oz Guanciale (or 4 oz of pancetta and 4 oz of thick cut bacon – no sugar or cured bacon) cut into small chunks. 1 lb of spaghetti (actually you can use a good quality bagged pasta, or home made) 1-1/4 cups of FRESHLY grated Parmesan 4 large eggs (beaten slightly) FRESH black pepper Bring water to boil for pasta. In a saute pan over medium high heat add the olive oil add the guanciale or bacon/pancetta mix and cook until the fat is rendered and it starts to caramelize and become crispy. Remove from heat until pasta is done (90 seconds for fresh pasta, 9 minutes or so for dry pasta). Place meat back on the flame and add one ladle (about 3/4 cup) of pasta water to the sauté pan. Once it is cooking again add the just cooked pasta and toss well for a minute or two. Take off heat. Add one cup parmesan and four beat eggs and mix really well in the pan forming a creamy sauce. Add fresh cracked pepper and serve.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
4 to 6 servings
1 pound dry spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian "al dente.") Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.
Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.