As one of my FAVORITE dishes ever, a good Spaghetti with Carbonara Sauce can be very difficult to make. I have tried at least a dozen different ways and although this particular recipe cannot be classified as EASY, it is not difficult – just takes patience and preparation. That being said, make sure you have all your hardware and ingredients prepared before you get started, for a smoother cooking experience. Because there is so few ingredients, it is especially critical to use good quality items. Their flavor will be amplified in this dish.
1 pound dried spaghetti – I used Cipriani which is a dried imported brand from Italy
1/2 cup diced pancetta
3 Tablespoons of a GOOD QUALITY extra-virgin olive oil, divided –
2 whole eggs plus 6 yolks
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese + more for garnish
1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese + more for garnish
1 teaspoon freshly ground – GOOD QUALITY black pepper
Basil sprig for garnish
Bring a LARGE pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add pasta and cook, stirring, until just al dente.
Meanwhile, combine pancetta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet and cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat (just like you would cook bacon) until fat has rendered and pancetta is slightly crisp, about 6-7 minutes. In a large metal heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together whole eggs and yolks, Pecornio Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano and black pepper.
Using tongs, transfer pasta to skillet with crisped pancetta and its fat. Be sure NOT to drain the pasta water out of the pot. Add reamining 1 tablespoon of olive oil to pasta and stir to combine. Scrape pasta, pancetta and all the fat into your bowl with the egg mixture. Measure 1/2 cup of past cooking water and add to the pasta egg mixture. Stir well to combine.
Set mixing bowl over your pot of boiling water (that you cooked the pasta in). Make sure BOTTOM OF BOWL DOES NOT TOUCH THE WATER, and cook stirring quickly with tongs, until sauce thickens to a creamy, silky consistency and leaves a trail when you stir.
Remove from heat, season with salt if desired. Divide into warmed bowls. Serve right away. Garnish with remain cheese and sprig of basil and freshly ground pepper. I garnished mine with Broccoli micro-greens from http://www.upstategreens.com/