This is hands down our family's favorite way to eat eggs for dinner. We use guanciale, Pecorino and Parmesan cheese because these ingredients literally keep forever so we always have them in the fridge. Tossing the pasta in the rendered fat before adding in the eggs, causes the eggs to become a velvety cream sauce that coats the pasta like a dream. Inspired by Spagetti Alla Carbonara in Cook Like a Rock Star by Anne Burrell —Cooks and Kid
1 1/2 tablespoons
guanciale, diced (alternatively diced pancetta)
garlic cloves, peeled and left whole
freshly grated Pecorino cheese
freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus additional for serving
Bring a a pot of salted water to a boil. In a large skillet, add olive oil and bring to medium heat. Once hot add the chopped guanciale. Cook until the fat has rendered and golden brown, about 7 to 9 minutes. Add the garlic and thyme sprigs, cook an additional 2 minutes, or until slightly brown and fragrant. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook until al dente. About 1 minute less than the package recommends.
When the pasta is just about finish, bring the pan with the guanciale back to medium heat. Remove the garlic and thyme sprigs. Drain the pasta well and add it to the pan. Toss the pasta to coat in the fat. Once coated well, remove the pan from the heat.
Add the egg and cheese mixture to the pasta and with a pasta spoon, immediately stir vigorously to combine, about 30 seconds. Cover and let sit for 2 minutes so the steam can cook the eggs. Uncover and stir again. The mixture will resemble a cream sauce. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan.