Guanciale is Italian cured pork cheek or jowl. The name is derived from guancia, which is Italian for cheek. To make guanciale, you rub pork cheeks with salt, sugar, and spices (typically ground black pepper and thyme or fennel and sometimes garlic) and cure it for three weeks. Because it’s largely fat, guanciale has a more seductive pork flavor and delicate texture than other pork products, such as pancetta, which is a common substitute. Guanciale is traditionally used in dishes like pasta carbonara and all’amatriciana. It is a delicacy of central Italy, particularly Umbria and Lazio, and not necessarily readily available in other regions. Here, green and crunchy peas have been added to the typical carbonara flavor. Although the addition of vegetables is not in common in Italy, they are often used elsewhere.
100 gr guanciale, diced
2 egg yolks, beaten
freshly grated Parmigiano
freshly grated Pecorino Romano
salt and pepper
In a pan without any oil, fry the sliced guanciale on a low heat. Once the pieces have browned, add the peas and cook for further 5-8 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a separate bowl, mix the egg yolks with a lot of black pepper, then add the mix of parmigiano and pecorino cheese. The consistency of the mixture should be paste like.
Meanwhile, cook the penne al dente in a pot of salted boiling water.
While the pasta is boiling, take one or two spoonfuls of the cooking water and add them to the egg yolk mix. Whisk until the mixture becomes creamy.
Add the cooked pasta into the guanciale and peas mixture, then turn the flame off and add the creamy egg yolks. Mix well and serve. Sprinkle some parmigiano and pecorino on each plate.