Thursday, February 28, 2013

Recipe : Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla carbonara recipe guanciale

I have been thinking about Pasta alla Carbonara a lot lately. Maybe it's those chilly winter evenings. Maybe it's just wanderlust by way of cooking ...

Rome is one of my favorite cities and Carbonara is the classic Roman pasta dish. Contrary to most popular recipes, an authentic Carbonara does not contain cream, just simple ingredients, while the secret to its creaminess is in the preparation: it's key to toss and mix the cooked pasta off the heat with the pecorino, eggs, pepper and pasta water - creating a creamy yet not overly thick sauce.

ingredients.extra virgin olive oil
1 lb spaghetti
4 tbs salt {for the pasta water}
½ lb guanciale, cut into large cubes
1¼ cup Pecorino Romano, grated
4 large eggs, at room temperature
freshly ground black pepper
Cut the guanciale into small cubes.

Guanciale is an Italian bacon, usually unsmoked and prepared with pig's jowl or cheeks. 
If guanciale is not available, pancetta or a good bacon can be substituted. {*}

guanciale from Bi-Rite

Fist, grate the Pecorino Romano.

Whisk eggs and season with generous amount of fresh ground pepper.
Add a cup of the Pecorino Romano and gently bring mixture together with a fork.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot, adding the salt and a dash of olive oil {to keep pasta from tangling up}.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil and guanciale in a saute pan over medium heat and cook until unti the guanciale has rendered its fat and is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until just al dente. 
Scoop out ¼ cup of the pasta cooking water and add to the pan with the guanciale.

Drain the pasta well, then add to the sauté pan. Using tongs toss and mix the pasta with the oil and guanciale over a medium flame for about a minute. Remove from heat.

After removing from heat wait 30 seconds. Add the whisked egg mixture to the pan. Toss and mix for 20 seconds. Serve immediately with more grated Pecorino Romano.

Buon appetito!

Adapted from the cooking class "Cooking of Rome" with Cooking with James.

{* In San Francisco you can find guanciale at Bi-Rite Market & Lucca Ravioli Company

Follow along on Instagram ...


all photos © dinners with friends

{ for good karma, please kindly ask before pulling an image & please link/credit when re-posting }