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Pasta Carbonara

Yield: 4 servings

Time: 25 minutes

Pasta carbonara photographed from above on a rustic plate


  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 4 oz. guaniciale, pancetta, or bacon
  • 1 oz grated pecorino Romano
  • 1 oz grated Parmesan
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 2 large eggs
  • Freshly ground black pepper (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. spaghetti, bucatini, or rigatoni


  1. Heat 6 quarts of water in a large pot and add 2 tbsp salt when water starts to boil.
  2. Remove guaniciale, pancetta or bacon from packaging and cut into strips that are 1/4 inch thick and 1/3 inch square. Finely grate the 2oz of cheese and set aside one-quarter of the cheese for later.
  3. Whisk 4 egg yolks and 2 whole eggs in a medium bowl with the remaining grated cheese until no streaks remain. Add fresh grated pepper and set aside.
  4. Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy pot over medium. Add guanciale and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp around the edges, 7–10 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat then remove guanciale and transfer to a small bowl. Pour fat into a heatproof bowl and add back 3 tbsp to the pot. Discard remaining fat.
  6. Cook pasta in boiling water, stirring occasionally until 2 minutes shy of package instructions. Before pasta is finished, remove 1 3/4 cups pasta cooking liquid with a heatproof measuring cup.
  7. Add 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to Dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high. Drain pasta in a colander, then transfer to Dutch oven.
  8. Cook pasta, stirring constantly, until al dente and water is reduced by about half, about 2 minutes. Remove pot from heat.
  9. Whisk ¼ cup pasta cooking liquid into reserved egg mixture, then very slowly stream into Dutch oven, stirring constantly, until cheese is melted and egg is thickened to form a glossy sauce. Season with salt, if needed. Thin sauce with remaining ½ cup pasta cooking liquid, adding a tablespoonful at a time, until it's the consistency of heavy cream.
  10. Mix in guanciale and divide pasta among bowls. Top with pepper and reserved cheese.