There’s no cream in this creamy Italian classic – the richness comes from eggs.
- 150 g (½ cup) diced guanciale
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 400 g (¾ lb) rigatoni
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
- 200 g (½ cup) grated Pecorino
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.
2. In the meantime, slowly pan-fry the guanciale in a little olive oil until it renders its fat and it turns crispy and a sun-burnt pink colour.
3. Once the water reaches a rolling boil, drop the pasta in and stir.
4. While the pasta cooks prepare your egg mix. Beat eggs yolks with a good sprinkling of salt and a generous amount of freshly ground black pepper. Add the grated pecorino and combine.
5. Once the pasta is cooked to a perfect al dente, lift the pasta out of the water (don’t throw out the cooking water), toss the pasta in with the pancetta and allow for the flavours to combine.
6. Off the heat, add your egg and cheese mix and stir through very quickly, to avoid over cooking the eggs. Add a little acqua di cottura (pasta cooking water) if it looks like it’s drying. Add a little more cheese to bring the temperature down and amalgamate. The residual heat of the pan and of the rigatoni, along with the pasta cooking liquor, will cook the eggs, but keep it creamy in texture. Crack a bit more black pepper over if you like.