Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Food Forward - Pasta Carbonara

OK, after the labor day holiday BBQ's it is time to revisit the pancetta in my refrigerator, sitting there, lonely and forelorn after being ignored for 24 hours. This is my GoTo Pasta Recipe, some make Classic Tomato Sauce Spaghetti, I make Linguine alla Carbonara (which means Carbon or Coal in Italian), a classic Roman tossed pasta dish of pancetta, eggs, lemon juice, white wine and Pecorino Romano with lots and lots of cracked black pepper, being the "coal" or "carbon".

3-4 oz Pancetta, small cube (You can use bacon if you like)
Kosher salt
Fresh Cracked Black Pepper (Lots and lots of Black Pepper)
16 oz Spaghetti or Linguini (Although all I had this evening was Bucatini)
1 Large egg
3 Large egg yolk
1/3 cup White Wine (Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc)
4 oz Pecorino Romano, finely grated
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of 1/2 lemon
6 Sprigs of flat leafed parsley, 3 chopped fine and 3 chopped coarse
Extra Virgin Olive oil

Fill a large kettle with water and bring to a boil with the cover on.
Heat some Extra Virgin Olive oil in a frying pan.
In a bowl place egg, egg yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, fine chopped parsley and 2 oz of the Pecorino; whisk well.

Liberally salt the boiling water and drop the pasta; stir to coat so pasta cooks evenly, Re-cover for about 1-2 minutes to allow the water to come back to a boil, then uncover again.
Add the pancetta to the pan and sauté until crispy.

Deglaze the pan with a 1/3 cup wine scraping the fond from the bottom of the pan.
Let wine reduce slightly too about 1/4 cup.
Remove from heat and mix in a lot of freshly ground pepper.
When the pasta is al dente remove 1/4 cup of the cooking water, drain the pasta and add to the bowl along with the wine reduction and toss twice to coat the pasta and incorporate the pancetta.

Add the egg mixture and 1/2 of the remaining Pecorino Romano to the bowl and toss quickly and thoroughly.
The retained heat of the pasta will cook the eggs and thicken the sauce.
If the sauce becomes too ‘thick’ then add some of the reserved cooking water until it becomes smooth and silky.
Sprinkle over the rest of the Pecorino and coarsely chopped Parsley

Serve immediately with a light sprinkle of the remaining Pecorino Romano!

Romano Cheese on Foodista


~Amber~ said...

It looks delicious! I have always wanted to try pasta carbonara. I might have to give it a try.

Michele said...

Wow! That sure looks good! Wish I could have a plate!

Bob said...

That looks wicked good. I have had cabonara before, but it was always based on a cream sauce. Don't misunderstand me, I love me some cream sauce (especially with bacon) but this looks like a totally different animal.

Culinary Alchemist said...

Yes, this is a more traditional version. Instead of using the water from the boiling pasta, you can add 1/4 cup of warm heavy cream instead to the reducing wine. It makes the sauce a little richer and more like American Alfredo Sauce. Even my boss, who was from Alba, said that he sometimes adds a little cream when he makes it.

Bob said...

Ah, I see. Well, I'm going to have to try it this way. It looks wicked good.