Spaghetti Carbonara by Chef Jill Aker-Ray
Presented by Chef Jill Aker-Ray
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
• 3 oz. guanciale (or pancetta or bacon)
• 2 cloves garlic
• 12 oz. spaghetti
• 3 large eggs ( or three yolks)
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano
• Freshly cracked pepper
• Salt to taste
• Handful fresh parsley or basil (optional)
• Fill a large pot with water for the pasta and season with salt. Place a lid on the pot and bring it up to a boil over high heat.
• While waiting for the water to boil, cut the bacon into small pieces. Cook the guanciale in a large skillet over medium-low heat until brown and crispy. Remove the cooked guanciale from the skillet, then turn the heat down to low. Add two cloves of garlic, add them to the warm skillet, and sauté for about one minute or until fragrant and softened, then remove and turn off the heat.
• In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan or Pecorino, and a generous dose of freshly cracked pepper.
• The water should be boiling at this point, so add the pasta, stir well, and continue to boil the pasta until al dente. Reserve one cup of the starchy pasta cooking water, then drain the pasta in a colander.
• Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water to the skillet that was used to cook the guanciale. Stir the warm water in the skillet and dissolve the browned bits from the surface of the skillet. Add the steaming hot drained pasta to the skillet and toss in the bacon liquid in the skillet.
• Pour the egg and Parmesan mixture over the hot pasta and immediately begin to stir or toss the pasta. Continue to stir the hot pasta in the egg mixture until a creamy sauce forms. Add the remaining Parmesan or Pecoeino, a little more freshly cracked pepper, and the reserved guanciale bits, and toss again. If the pasta becomes too thick or dry, add a splash more of the reserved pasta water.
• Finally, taste the pasta and adjust the salt, Parmesan or Pecorino, or pepper if needed. Top with a pinch or two of roughly chopped parsley leaves.