In a large frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the guanciale. Stir and render out for 15 minutes. Remove the crunchy guanciale and leave the guanciale fat in the pan.
Add onion and garlic to the rendered guanciale fat; cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8-10 minutes. Try not to burn the onions.
Add the jar of sauce, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 10-12minutes. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
In the meantime, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water to taste like nicely seasoned broth. Cook pasta according to package directions. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 coffee mug of pasta cooking water.
Add drained pasta to the sauce in the pan and toss vigorously with tongs to coat. Add ½ the mug of starchy pasta water and cook until the sauce clings to the pasta, about 2 minutes. (Adjust the pasta water depending on how loose or dry the sauce is).
Stir in the cheese and transfer the pasta to serving bowls. Enjoy!
Vera Pasta owner, Chef Joe D’Andrea grew up in an Italian household in West Chester, PA. At an early age, Joe’s passion for Italian cuisine was introduced to him by his grandmother, whose cooking style originates from the Abruzzi region in Italy.