The sauce for this classic pasta dish is created when the pasta comes out of the water and into the bowl. The heat from the pasta actually cooks the egg yolks, emulsifying the fat and cheese together.
- 1 pound dry spaghetti (Fresh pasta will not work with this dish, but there are many fine Italian dry pastas. Eric uses an Italian Brand, Setaro.)
- 1 pound guanciale (cured pork jowl), bacon or pancetta
- 1 cup pecorino romano, ground
- 3 egg yolks from pastured eggs (reserve the whites for a souffle)
- salt & black pepper to taste
- Slice the guanciale or bacon into lardons--approximately 1/4 inch by 1 inch pieces--they should look like little fat matchsticks.
- Saute over medium heat until crispy to render the fat.
- Remove lardons from the fat and set aside. Reserve the fat and cool to room temperature.
- In a bowl, mix the reserved fat, cheese, egg yolks, and liberal amount of black pepper. The black pepper will balance the fattiness and saltiness of the dish.
- Cook the pasta to al dente and immediately add to the bowl. Mix well, tossing and mixing with a wooden spoon. Try not to break up the pasta too much. If it gets too thick, add a touch of the pasta water. The sauce should be creamy.
- Slide pasta into a large bowl and top with the reserved crispy lardons and extra Pecorino Romano.