Skip to main content

Strozzapretti alla Carbonara


There are two "secrets" to making the perfect carbonara...and one of them is not cream. In fact, in authentic carbonara, there is no cream at all. Oh, so the two secrets: guanciale (that's salt-cured pork jowl) and acqua gassata (bubbly water). That's it.


Carbonara is fairly new to Roman tables, maybe a century old or so. Some attribute its creation to US troops in the post World War era for whom eggs and bacon were staples. The other school of thought is that it was invented by i carbonari (coal-carbon workers) as a quick, easy dish to be eaten during a lunch break. And yet another idea: the pepper in a carbonara resembles the coal...hence the name.

The only ingredients you need to make a true Roman carbonara are pasta of course, eggs, pecorino Romano (sheep’s milk cheese), guanciale (salt-cured pork jowl), and black pepper. I like to add fresh herbs as well. So, when we were at the Ferry Building in San Francisco and I saw guanciale at Boccalone, I didn't hesitate to grab some.

To make this dish you cook the guanciale in a pan. Let it cool. Beat the eggs with the grated cheese and pepper and add this cheese-egg mixture to the pan with the cooled guanciale. Once the pasta is cooked you heat the sauce again, adding the pasta to the egg-guanciale. Then you turn and toss the pasta, cooking the egg for just a few seconds. I read once that it takes only 100 giri...100 turns.



1 pound dry pasta ( I used strozzapretti instead of the traditional spaghetti or rigatoni)
4 fresh large eggs
1/2 C sparkling water
8 ounces guanciale, cubed
1 3/4 C fresh grated pecorino Romano
freshly ground black pepper
1 C fresh parsley, chopped
  
Heat a large, flat-bottom pan and add the guanciale Sauté until the meat is crispy, browned, and has rendered its fat. Turn off the heat. Add in the parsley and let cool. While the guanciale cools, cook the pasta till it's al dente.


In mixing bowl whisk the eggs and  sparkling water until well-combined.

When the pasta is done, drain it and place it in the pan with the sauce. Turn the heat back on - to medium - and pour in the egg mixture. Agitate the pan until the egg begins to coat the pasta and thicken. It won't take too long...just a few seconds. Remove the pan from the heat and add 1 1/2 C of the grated cheese. use a wooden spoon to incorporate that into the sauce. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper. 

Divide the pasta into bowls and serve immediately with the remaining cheese sprinkled on top. Pronto al tavolo!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé #Winophiles

This month the French Winophiles group is looking at affordable wines from Burgundy.  Host Cindy of Grape Experiences wrote: "Burgundy, or Bourgogne, is known for its wines of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir... as well as Aligote, Gamay, Sauvignon, César, Pinot Beurot, Sacy, Melon in lesser quantities. Many of the well-known wines are quite expensive, but there are plenty of values to be found." Read her invitation here. And there won't be a Twitter chat for this event, so you will have to dive into the articles themselves to read about our pairings and findings. Here's the line-up... Wendy Klik from A Day in the Life on the Farm enjoys Domaine Chevillon Chezeaux Bourgogne Hautes Cotes de Nuits, 2018 Paired with a Maple Pecan Chicken . Camilla Mann from Culinary Adventures with Camilla shares her love of Connecticut Lobster Rolls, Canned Lobster Bisque, and a 2019 Henry Fessy 'Maître Bonhome' Viré-Clessé. Jeff Burrows of FoodWineClick! explains why we should Look t

Meyer Lemon Custard-Filled Matcha Turtles #BreadBakers

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our of lovely bread by following our  Pinterest board  right here. Links are also updated after each event on the  Bread Bakers home page .  We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient. This month Stacy of Food Lust People Love  is hosting and she wrote: "Your bread can be large, as in one big animal, or small - animal-shaped rolls. Use your imagination! Points for flavor and shape!" If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send an email with your blog URL to Stacy at foodlustpeoplelove@gmail.com. Here's the animal-shaped bread basket from the #BreadBakers... Beef and Sweet Onion Dim Sum Pandas from Karen's Kitchen Stories Bird Bread Rolls from Ambrosia Easter Bunny Buns from Cook with Renu Ham and Cheese Elephant Rolls from Food Lust People Love Hedgehog Bread from Making Mir

Quick Pickled Red Onions and Radishes

If you've been reading my blog for even a short amount of time, you probably know how much I love to pickle things. I was just telling a friend you can pickle - with vinegar - or you can ferment - with salt - for similar delicious effect. The latter has digestive benefits and I love to do that, but when I need that pop of sour flavor quickly, I whip up quick pickles that are ready in as little as a day or two. I've Pickled Blueberries , Pickled Asparagus , Pickled Cranberries , Pickled Pumpkin , and even Pickled Chard Stems ! This I did last night for an upcoming recipe challenge that requires I include radishes. Ummmm...of course I'm pickling them! Ingredients  makes 1 quart jar radishes, trimmed and sliced organic red onions, peeled and thinly sliced (I used a mandolin slicer) 3/4 C vinegar (I used white distilled vinegar) 3/4 C water 3 T organic granulated sugar 1 T salt (I used some grey sea salt) 6 to 8 grinds of black pepper Proce