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Pastas and Grains

Pasta alla Carbonara

Pasta alla Carbonara

[Photographs: Deborah Mele]

To ensure your eggs don't separate, warm them to room temperature before you use them. I also take a further step by warming a large bowl that I use to whisk the eggs, cheese, and pepperĀ together. To warm the empty bowl, simply set it over your pasta pot as the water is boiling. You want the bowl very warm, but not so hot that the eggs will cook.

A great tip when cooking pasta dishes such as this one is to reserve a small cup of the pasta water before draining. When mixing the sauce with the pasta, you can always loosen the sauce with a few teaspoons of the water if it starts to look to thick.

About the Author: Deborah Mele is the owner of Italian Food Forever, an Italian recipe blog, as well as Recipe Rebuild, a healthy recipe blog she shares with her daughter Christy, an RD. Deborah lives 6 months a year in Umbria, Italy where she oversees her guest house Il Casale di Mele.

Every recipe we publish is tested, tasted, and Serious Eats approved by our staff. Never miss a recipe again by following @SeariousRecipes on Twitter!

Pasta alla Carbonara

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About This Recipe

Yield:Serves 6
Active time:15 minutes
Total time:15 minutes
This recipe appears in: Italian Easy: Pasta alla Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces diced guanciale or pancetta
  • 1 pound package bucatini or spaghetti
  • 6 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese, mixed with 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped parsley leaves (optional)

Procedures

  1. 1

    Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil for the pasta. In a large frying pan, heat the oil until lightly smoking over medium heat, then cook the guanciale or pancetta until crispy, about 6 minutes. Keep warm.

  2. 2

    Drop the pasta into the water and cook until "al dente" according to the package instructions. As the pasta is cooking, warm a large serving bowl. Place the egg yolks in the bowl along with three quarters of the cheese mixture along with the ground pepper. Use a whisk and blend until well mixed.

  3. 3

    Drain the pasta, reserving a small cup of the pasta water. Add the drained, steaming hot pasta into the bowl with the eggs, along with a little of the pasta water, toss well to lightly cook the eggs and coat the pasta with the egg mixture. Add the warm guanciale or pancetta, and toss again to mix well. Serve the pasta in individual bowls with a sprinkling of the parsley and the remainder of the cheese.

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