Friday, July 27, 2012

Pasta alla Carbonara

I have decided to post this recipe, which is a very basic one, as part of my efforts to clarify what is "authentic" Italian and what is not. This is how it is done in Italy. No peas. No large amounts of cream. And no, the eggs are not properly "cooked". I love Carbonara, it's a go to when you are starving and want a rich dish but don't have much left in the fridge. The only problem is the pancetta. I have tried to find one here in the states that was exactly as the one in Italy. The closest I have come is some diced pancetta I found at the Fresh Market, I think the brand was Fiorucci, but it still didn't taste the same. Anyway, if you want you can also substitute pancetta for some thick cut bacon, which actually might taste even better in the end, or some German Prosciutto but be careful with that because sometimes it can be a little too salty.

Ingredients for 4 people

4 eggs (3 egg yolks + 1 whole egg)
1/2 lb of diced pancetta
1/2 pound of grated parmesan
1 lb of thick spaghetti


- In a pan cook the diced pancetta over medium heat without adding any oil. Cook until the fat is transparent and the pancetta is slightly crispy and remove from the heat.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add 1/4 cup of salt to it.
- In a large bowl toss the eggs and the parmesan cheese, make sure the cheese is enough so that the mixture becomes very thick. Add the pancetta.
- Cook the pasta as directed.
- Drain the pasta and IMMEDIATELY add to the egg mixture, the heat from the pasta will help "cook" the egg. Toss vigorously and serve with black pepper on top.

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