Spaghetti alla carbonara
|500 g||pasta — spaghetti|
|4||eggs — separated|
|250 g||bacon — or pancetta, diced|
|3 tsp||olive oil — extra virgin|
|350 ml||pecorino cheese — grated|
|black pepper — freshly ground|
Bring a seriously large amount of water to the boil and add salt generously – don’t go overboard but don’t just add a teaspoon – make it 3 level teaspoons.
Beat the egg whites lightly, just enough to break them and drop the egg yolks into a bowl.
Combine the olive oil and guanciale (mix the olive oil and the guanciale together first) and then sauté in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat, until it has rendered it’s fat and is golden and crispy.
Take off the heat and set aside – don’t drain the fat.
Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and cook until it’s just al dente (al dente means that it still has a bite – it doesn’t mean soft).
Take out about 125 ml of the pasta cooking water, and set aside and then drain the pasta.
Pour the reserved pasta water into the pan with the guanciale and toss the pasta over the heat until everything is well mixed – about a minute.
Remove the pasta from the heat now and add about ¾ of the grated cheese, the egg whites and black pepper to taste.
Toss until thoroughly mixed (you need to add a good amount of pepper – one or two little gratings won’t do anything to the taste).
Pour in the egg yolks and mix everything very well – pull up the pasta towards yourself so that the yolk is incorporated.
You may add the yolk at the same time as the egg white, but doing it this way gives a creamier sauce or you may eliminate the egg yolks altogether.
Many Romans do, but that means many more egg yolks and makes the pasta very rich.
Serve immediately with extra cheese and a chilled bottle of Roman Pinot Grigio.
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