Spaghetti Carbonara for National Pasta Day

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Spaghetti Carbonara

4 ounces guanciale or pancetta cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 generous tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably lightly fruity
2 large eggs, plus 2 yolks at room temperature
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, or half Pecorino Romano and half Parmigiano-Reggiano
freshly ground black pepper
1-pound pasta
Kosher salt

Sauté guanciale/pancetta and oil over medium heat until the edges of the guanciale/pancetta pieces are just turning brown, about 2 minutes. Don't let it get too crisp. Set the pan and its contents aside but keep warm.

Bring 5 quarts of water to a boil in an 8-quart pot over high heat. When the water boils, add 3 tablespoons kosher salt, then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.

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While the pasta is cooking, break the eggs into a small bowl and add all the cheese and a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Whisk gently until the mixture is smooth.

Drain the pasta (reserving a cup of pasta water) and put it in the skillet with the guanciale/pancetta over low heat. Toss quickly to mix well.

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 quickly to blend all contents together.

Whatever you do, work fast or the pasta will get cold and the eggs will stay raw and runny.

Ideally the heat of the pasta will cook the egg just enough, and the sauce should be creamy. You can mix in a tiny bit of the reserved water to smooth things out, but you not need it.

Serve immediately in bowl.