Just a handful of simple ingredients make this classic Roman dish. We sometimes fear scrambling the egg, which is why we use the trick of tempering the egg and cheese mix with the hot pasta water. Result, a deliciously creamy, silky smooth bowl of noods.
PHOTOGRAPHY: DAN ROBB
500g long pasta such as spaghetti or bucatini
½ Tbsp unsalted butter
1 Tbsp olive oil
½ cup diced guanciale or pancetta
3 large egg yolks
¼ cup pecorino cheese, finely grated
½ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated plus extra for grating
Juice from ½ lemon
Kosher salt and Ground black pepper, to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add a good pinch of salt to season the water. Cook the pasta until al dente, or according to package directions. Drain and reserve 1 ¼ cups of pasta water.
2. In a large fry pan over medium heat, melt the butter and olive oil. Fry the guanciale for 4-6 minutes until golden brown and crisp on the edges. Use a slotted spoon to remove the guanciale from the pan and place into a bowl, set aside. Reduce the heat to low.
3. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and cheese. Add several cracks of black pepper. Gradually whisk in ¼ cup of the reserved pasta water until the mixture has loosened. Set aside.
4. Add the pasta directly into the fry pan along with ½ cup of the remaining pasta water. and stir to loosen the noodles. Slowly add the loosened egg mixture, stirring vigorously until creamy and thickened, adding the remaining water if needed.
5. Add the guanciale back into the pan and stir through the pasta. Season with lemon juice, extra salt and pepper if needed.
6. Divide between bowls and top with extra grated cheese