Spaghetti alla carbonara (spaghetti with bacon, eggs and grated cheese)
Adapted from Lidia's Mastering the Art of Italian Cooking by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich and Tanya Bastianich Manuali
6 ounces thick-cut or slab bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
1 pound spaghetti
2 large egg yolks
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and chopped (about 1 cup, optional)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated Grana Padano or parmesan cheese
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
2. Cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until the fat has mostly rendered, about 4 to 5 minutes. Push the bacon to one side of the pan, and add the onion. Let both cook separately until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, then mix the two together. Ladle 4 cups of pasta water into the skillet with the bacon and onion, bring to a rapid boil, and quickly reduce the sauce.
3. While the sauce is reducing, add the spaghetti to the boiling water. Meanwhile, in a small bowl whisk the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of hot pasta water. When the sauce has reduced by about half and the spaghetti is al dente, use tongs to scoop the pasta into the sauce. Add the scallions (if using), pepper and salt to taste. Toss the pasta until it is coated in the sauce, and the scallions are wilted. Remove the pan from the heat, and quickly mix in the egg yolks, stirring until creamy. Toss the pasta with the grated cheese, and serve immediately.