Do as the Italians do and try a traditional spaghetti carbonara. Sharp pecorino cheese and salty guanciale perfectly offset the creaminess of the egg.
- 120 g guanciale (or pancetta), cut into ½ cm-thick slices
- Salt, to season
- 350 g dried spaghetti
- 3 eggs
- 50 g pecorino cheese, finely grated
- freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Place guanciale strips in a preheated frying pan over medium heat and fry until translucent and starting to brown – you do not need oil as the guanciale will release oil as it cooks (so will pancetta or bacon if you are replacing the guanciale). Set aside.
- Boil salted water in a saucepan. When boiling add the dried spaghetti and cook for as long at the packet advises (usually 7-9 minutes). You want the pasta to be slightly resistant to bite but not crunchy. Drain the pasta (retaining 1/2 cup of the water) and add it to the pan with the guanciale.
- Combine beaten eggs and pecorino cheese together then add to the pasta and mix well to combine. Add a little of the pasta water if needed and serve with freshly ground pepper.
Guanciale is a cured meat made from pork cheek (“guancia” means cheek in Italian), which results in a slightly fattier cured meat. It's not used for eating on its own but instead as a pasta ingredient due to its incredible flavour. You can find guanciale at your local Italian butcher or you can use pancetta or bacon instead.
We used hard pecorino cheese for this dish in keeping with tradition. Alternatively, you can use a combination of pecorino and Parmigiano-Reggiano or just Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.
Make sure the egg and cheese mixture is stirred through the pasta after it comes off the heat and is drained. The creaminess comes from the residual heat and a dash of the pasta water emulsifying the ingredients.
This recipe is…
Please note, nutritional information is approximate and based on the uncooked ingredients.
|- Saturated fat||7.2 g|
|Total carbohydrates||63.6 g|
|- Sugars||2.7 g|
|Dietary fibre||3.0 g|