Spaghetti alla carbonara
The classic Italian - Spaghetti alla Carbonara literally means "Spaghetti in the Manner of the Charcoal Maker". Some believe that the dish was once popular with Charcoal makers who lived on the Mountains near Rome because the ingredients were easily portable and cooking was fairly uncomplicated. Others believe the dish derives its name from all the freshly ground pepper that is added to the spaghetti at the last minute. Actually, the origin of the dish is quite recent, since it was unknown before Second World War. The dish uses pancetta or guanciale, which are similar to bacon. If you want to stay true to the Roman heritage of the dish, you must use grated Pecorino Romano cheese, but it can be substituted by Pecorino sardo or Parmesan. A mix of the two cheeses is also common.
- 400 g (14 oz) dried spaghetti
- 175 g (6¼ oz) piece smoked pancetta with the rind removed or of course, home smoked bacon!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
- A good handful of parsley, stalks removed and finely chopped
- 3 large free-range eggs, beaten
- 50 g (1¾ oz) Pecorino sardo, finely grated
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Boil 4.5 litres (8 pints) of water in a large pot and add 2 teaspoons of sea salt
- Add the spaghetti and cook for ten minutes - timed once it returns to the boil
- Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into bite-size pieces
- Heat a large frying pan or wok over a medium-high heat, add the oil and pancetta and fry for a few minutes
- Add the garlic and parsley and cook for long enough to colour the garlic, being careful not to burn it. Set aside
- Drain the spaghetti then pour into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic, parsley and a little splash of olive oil
- Stir in the beaten eggs and half of the grated cheese and mix together well
- Season with a little salt and black pepper
Make your own pasta from scratch
The normal (non-Youtube) recipe for home-made pasta is here if you prefer.
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