Carbonara is one of those things that is so delicious because it’s so simple! It’s like the grown up version of plain pasta with butter and Parmesan.
If you can’t find pancetta at your local grocer, you can use thick-cut bacon instead. But I highly recommend trying to find pancetta because it does taste way better than bacon and imparts a richer flavor to your pasta. If you have a Publix nearby, they sell it at the deli counter. It’s pronounced “pan-chet–uh.”
Decadence has never been so simple.
Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (tender, yet firm). About 8-9 minutes.
While pasta is cooking, heat olive oil over medium heat in large, deep skillet. Add pancetta and saute until crisp and fat is rendered, about 8 minutes.
Add garlic and saute about a minute. Be careful to not overcook the garlic because it will make the pasta taste bitter. Turn off the heat, but leave skillet on hot burner.
Mix eggs and grated cheese together in small bowl, set aside.
Once pasta is cooked, remove from pot with tongs and add to the skillet with bacon. Leave the cooking water in the pot.
Stir the egg and cheese mixture into the hot pasta. If the skillet it still too hot, the egg will scramble and you don't want that. The pasta should be fresh out of the boiling water so its heat can thicken the eggs.
Add one or two ladles full of the hot pasta water to the pasta in the skillet and stir well to combine.
Serve with additional grated Pecorino Romano cheese and freshly grated black pepper.