Serves 4 to 6.
Note: Adapted from “Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way,” by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant.
• 1 lb. spaghetti or bucatini
• 4 oz. guanciale, cut into 1/4-in. dice (cured pork; pancetta or bacon could be substituted)
• 2 generous tbsp. olive oil
• 3 eggs, at room temperature
• 3 1/2 oz. freshly grated pecorino Romano or a combination of pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano
• Freshly ground black pepper
Cook the spaghetti in rapidly boiling salted water over high heat until it is just tender but with a core of crispness.
While the spaghetti is cooking, heat the guanciale and oil in a skillet over medium heat just until the guanciale begins to brown and crisp, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, but keep it warm.
Break the eggs into a small bowl and add all of the cheese and a generous grinding of pepper. Whisk gently until smooth.
Drain the cooked pasta (reserving and keeping warm a cup of its water) and put it in the skillet with the guanciale over low heat. If it sizzles loudly, the pan is too hot; let it cool slightly. Toss quickly to mix well and coat the spaghetti with the rendered fat.
Holding the skillet slightly above but not touching the burner, pour the egg and cheese mixture in a stream into the pasta. Toss the pasta or stir it quickly with spoons to coat the spaghetti in a creamy sauce made from the lightly cooked eggs. Work quickly so the spaghetti does not get cold, or the eggs will stay raw and runny. But don’t let the pan get too hot or the eggs will curdle. If either starts to happen, you can rescue it by stirring in a little of the reserved warm cooking water.
Taste and add more salt and pepper if desired before serving immediately.
Nutrition information per each of 6 servings:
Calories 627 Fat 29 g Sodium 720 mg
Carbohydrates 67 g Saturated fat 11 g Calcium 205 mg
Protein 23 g Cholesterol 130 mg Dietary fiber 4 g
Diabetic exchanges per serving: 4 bread/starch, ½ other carb, 1½ lean meat, 4½ fat.