This recipe sticks to the authentic way of making a carbonara sauce, which, unlike many popular variations, includes no cream or wine. Beaten eggs and cheese cling to the strands of hot pasta, delivering the dish’s signature silky consistency, and the sauce is accented with bits of crispy guanciale. Can’t find guanciale? Substitute pancetta.
Bucatini alla Carbonara
5 extra-large eggs
3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) equal parts freshly grated pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus more for serving
Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Kosher salt for cooking pasta
1 lb. (500 g.) bucatini or spaghetti
1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml.) extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb. (250 g.) guanciale or pancetta, finely diced
3 Tbs. minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
In a bowl, using a fork, beat the eggs until well blended. Stir in the 3/4 cup (3 oz./90 g.) cheese and season with sea salt and plenty of pepper.
Select a large, shallow serving bowl and warm it in a 200 degree F (95 degree C) oven.
In a large pot, bring 5 qt. (5 l.) water to a rapid boil. Check the package directions for the cooking time, then add 2 tablespoons kosher salt and the pasta to the boiling water, sitr well, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pasta is 2 minutes shy of being al dente.
Meanwhile, in a fry pan large enough t accommodate the pasta later, warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the guanciale and saute until nicely colored and crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat.
When the pasta is ready, drain it, reserving about 1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml.) of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the fry pan, place over low heat and toss to coat the pasta with the oil. Add about 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml.) of the cooking water to moisten, and simmer, continuing to toss, until the water is nearly evaporated, 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and transfer the contents of the pan to the warmed serving bowl. Add the egg mixture and the parsley and toss vigorously to distribute the sauce evenly and to ensure that the eggs do not scramble. If the pasta seems dry, add more of the reserved cooking water to loosen it. Serve right away. Pass the pepper mill and the additional cheese at the table. Serves 4.