I am a bit ashamed of writing on this blog again. Such a long time has gone from the last post and so many things have happened. The main news is that I changed my job, twice, I had been driving over two hours every day to go to work and back, but now, I have a job I like, closer to home and hopefully I will have more time to spend on my blog.
So, here I am with a new recipe, la carbonara, ma quella vera. So many times I have seen “strange dishes” called carbonara here in the UK and often the recipe doesn’t even contain the two main ingredients: eggs and pancetta. Instead the main ingredient in the English carbonara is cream, a loooot of cream, ah, and mushrooms! Generally you have spaghetti floating in a white sauce, squisito!
For the original carbonara you would need guanciale which is a sort of bacon prepared with pig’s jowl or cheek. In fact, its name derives from guancia, Italian for cheek. The other main ingredients are fresh eggs and a good pecorino romano. Since we are in the UK (or somewhere else in the world), some ingredients can be quite difficult to find, therefore you can substitute guanciale with a good quality unsmoked bacon and the pecorino romano with a simpler pecorino. If you do not find the pecorino you can use some good Parmigiano, but it is not going to be a real carbonara!
The secret for a good carbonara is to be careful not to cook the eggs. The creamy sauce is simply due to the raw eggs and molten cheese and nothing else.
CARBONARA, QUELLA VERA
400 g spaghetti
90 g guanciale
80 g pecorino romano, grated
salt and pepper
In a large pot bring to the boil enough water for cooking the pasta. Cut the guanciale into small cubes or strips and fry it in a small pan. Cook until it turns slightly gold and the fat is transparent, then set aside to cool down. In a large bowl whisk the eggs with half of the grated percorino, some of the fat released by the guanciale during cooking and a pinch of salt.
Once the water is boiling add a small handful of coarse sea salt followed by the pasta and cook for the required time (usually ~10 minutes for spaghetti). Drain the pasta and add it very quickly to the bowl with the egg mixture. Mix and add the guanciale and the remaining grated pecorino. Mix with a wooden spoon until the sauce is creamy and homogeneous. Serve with some grated back pepper.