The real important part to remember here is the ratio of egg to cheese. You can use ham as a substitute for pancetta/guanciale in a pinch, and the plate should realistically take 20 mins to make.


Per person:


  1. Put water to boil, salt heavily. Ideally you would try to use the least amount of water possible to get a higher concentration of starch in it.
  2. Cut guanciale into 1/2 inch cubes and start frying until crispy and then leaving to rest.
  3. Once water has rolling boil, put pasta in. Aiming for al dente. You want to keep the water as hot as possible, as this is where the heat to cook the sauce will come from.
  4. In a bowl, mix grated cheese, eggs and pepper. Should have the consistency halfway between a paste and a sauce.
  5. Remove around 1/2 the amount of oil in the pan with the guanciale. We do this to prevent the pasta sauce becoming oily.
  6. Add around 2 table spoons worth of pasta water to sauce mixture. Mix well. This is the key to stop sauce from curdling.
  7. Once the pasta is ready, reserve a cup of pasta water, and drain.
  8. As quick as possible throw pasta into pan with guanciale and pour sauce over it. We are aiming to lose as little heat as possible.
  9. Keep on mixing till thick sauce forms. Important to not stop mixing or sauce could curdle.
  10. If thick sauce never forms, heat pan on low and keep mixing (make sure to get the bottom bits!) until thick sauce forms.
  11. Serve with more pecorino on top and freshly ground pepper.