Spaghetti Carbonara

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 31 May, 2012, 12:00am


A purist would say this isn't authentic carbonara because it should use guanciale - cured pork jowl. If you can find it in Hong Kong, feel free to use it; in the meantime, pancetta makes a fine substitute.

Timing is critical for this dish because the ingredients don't actually cook together; instead, the flame is turned off once the egg mixture is poured in, and the sauce thickens in the residual heat of the pan. Have all the ingredients ready and waiting by the side of the stove.

200 grams dried spaghetti

15ml cooking oil

100 grams pancetta (rind removed), diced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

2 large eggs, at room temperature

60 grams freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling

Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil the spaghetti in a large pot of salted water.

Heat the oil in a large skillet, add the pancetta and cook until the pork fat turns translucent. Add the garlic and cook until pale golden.

When the pasta is ready, remove it with a slotted ladle (or metal tongs), leaving behind the water. Put the pasta into the skillet with the pancetta and garlic.

Whisk the eggs in a bowl. Add some freshly ground pepper and about 120ml of the pasta water and stir immediately. Turn off the flame under the skillet. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and stir immediately and thoroughly so the eggs don't scramble; it should form a sauce that coats the pasta.

Sprinkle in 60 grams of parmesan and stir again. If the sauce seems too thick, stir in more of the pasta water. Add salt if needed. Serve on two plates, sprinkled with extra parmesan.