Traditional Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
80g guanciale, finely diced
1 egg, whisked
100g pecorino, grated
2 tablespoon peppercorns
2 cloves of garlic, crushed with the back of a knife
100g spaghetti or spaghettini
What you need to do
First, let's talk about guanciale. Guanciale is a type of Italian cured pork, which literally translates to “cheek of a pig”. You can make this recipe with pancetta or bacon, but if you can get your hands on some guanciale, it’s definitely worth it. Sydney-siders – I get mine from Ocello in Surry Hills, or Leichhardt Harris Farm.
To begin, finely dice the guanciale, discarding the tough skin on the edge of the cut.
Next, crush the peppercorns with a mortar and pestle.
Sift your crushed peppercorns. This will seperate the strong, powdery part of the pepper from the milder shells. Discard the shells.
In a large, cold (not yet over heat) non stick pan, add the guanciale, crushed garlic and half the pepper. Turn on the heat, keeping it on a very low temperature. This will allow the fat to render out instead of drying up. After a few minutes, you'll notice the fatty parts of the gunaciale turn transparent.
While the guanciale is melting down, put the spaghetti on the boil. You only want to cook it until it's al dente, which should take around 6 minutes.
Slowly, but surely, your guanciale will cook to a crisp. If your guanciale is done before your pasta, keep it together to the edge of your pan. This will stop it from drying out.
Remove your garlic from the pan.
When the pasta is done, grab a pair of tongs and scoop it into your pan. Letting a little water enter the pan is good. It'll emulsify with the guanciale fat, creating the "creamy" feel of the pasta. In fact, when you're done transferring the pasta, continue adding a few splashes of water.
While you do this you'll hear a sizzling sound. Keep tossing the pasta until it stops.
At this point, and no sooner, add your egg. (Doing this too early can cause it to scramble)
Add your grated cheese and toss it though.
If you've got a good bottle of wine handy, crack it. This one's worth celebrating.