My daughter is obsessed with carbonara. So, I have had a lot of practise perfecting it! Pasta alla Carbonara is a staple in Rome, and Romans, like all italians, will tell you that it only contains a few ingredients. Fresh fresh fresh eggs, I personally use fresh farm eggs from free roaming hens. I mean, a happy hen makes a tasty carbonara. Via her egg of course. I digress, so the ingredients are fresh eggs, bacon, parmesan cheese and black pepper, and the best pasta you can find. I am currently obsessed with Martelli pasta from Tuscany, so if you can find that, use it. That’s all folks! No cream, no onions, no milk…..you don’t need any of that to get the perfect creaminess in the dish if you prepare it properly. There is an actual science to it, but trust me it’s not rocket science. I am not sure where exactly the dish originated, but the first mention of it was in a Neapolitan cookbook in 1839. The original version had no bacon, apparently that was added in the late 1940’s after allied troops were in Italy after WWII. There is also a discrepancy whether you use Parmigiano or Pecorino. Or both. I use whichever I have in the fridge and it still tastes great! So, here is how you make Carbonara….it’s really easy so try it tonight!
Recipe for two:
200 grams pasta (use which ever you like, but not stuffed pasta)
4-5 bacon slices
1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Fresh black pepper, salt to taste
Drizzle of olive oil.
In a large stockpot, boil your water. In the meantime, start frying up your bacon slices until they are crispy but not burnt, then crumble them into your pan and drizzle some olive oil. When the water is boiling add your pasta and cook al dente according to your package directions. Mix the eggs, cheese and pepper and beat well. About a minute before your pasta is done, add a spoonful of the cooking water to your egg mixture (this is the science bit!) this will ensure that the sauce is creamy because of the starch released from the pasta. Drain your pasta, and place back in your stockpot, and add the bacon with the drippings and oil. Toss to coat evenly. Wait about 30 seconds and then add your egg mix and quickly toss so that all the pasta is evenly sauced. Serve and try not to lick the pot. (I do)
From my kitchen to yours,