"Every Saturday in Florence I make my rounds—the market, the butcher, the wine store—before heading home to make Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Carbonara means 'charcoal burner,' and legend has it that this hearty dish was first prepared for charcoal workers. The key to such a simple dish is in the ingredients: fresh, room-temperature eggs, sharp Pecorino Romano, and especially salty guanciale (cured pork jowl)."
-Rolando Beramendi in AUTENTICO: Cooking Italian, the Authentic Way
Photo by Laurie Frankel
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Gently add the pasta, letting soften and submerge itself in the water. Once the pasta is submerged, give it a stir so it doesn't stick on the bottom. After 4 minutes, taste a strand for doneness. Continue to taste a strand until the spaghetti is al dente, about 10 minutes is al dente, about 10 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale and cook until translucent, not browned, about 2 minutes. In a large serving bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated cheese, and peppercorns until smooth and creamy. When the spaghetti is al dente, drain it through a colander and add the pasta to the bowl, tossing well to coat the strands of pasta evenly. Stir in the guanciale and divide among warm pasta bowls. Serve immediately with additional cheese.