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

Jamaican Stew Peas #EattheWorld

  Here we are at November #EattheWorld event. What a year this has been! This challenge has been one that gave us some excuse for virtual travel as we've been sheltered-in-place with the coronavirus epidemic for most of 2020. So, we've been able to read about different parts of the world and create a dinner, or at least a dish, with that cuisine. This Eat the World project is spearheaded by Evelyne of  CulturEatz . Read more about  her challenge . This month, Evelyne had us heading to somewhere tropical: Jamaica. I have actually been to Jamaica, but it was almost thirty years ago...and it was just a jumping off point for the rest of our Caribbean exploration. I don't remember eating anything at all! Pandemonium Noshery: Pumpkin Rice   Culinary Adventures with Camilla: Jamaican Stew Peas  Amy’s Cooking Adventures: Jamaican Chicken & Pumpkin Soup   Palatable Pastime: Jamaican Jerk Chicken Burger   Sneha’s Recipe: Jamaican Saucy Jerk Chicken Wings With Homemade Jerk Seas

Lamskoteletten op zijn oud-Hollands for #TheBookClubCookbookCC

Here we are at April's #thebookclubcookbookCC event. It's hard to believe that we only have three more months in this year-long journey to explore - and cook from -  The Book Club Cookbook, Revised Edition: Recipes and Food for Thought from Your Book Club's Favorite Books and Authors  by Judy Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp.* Judy, Vicki, and their publisher,  Tarcher-Penguin ,  have provided the hosting bloggers with copies of the book plus copies to giveaway each month of the project. Woohoo. Incredibly generous. This month Sarah at  Things I Make (for Dinner)  has selected  Girl With a Pearl Earring  by Tracy Chevalier.** Click to read  Sarah's invitation . She shared the recipe for Griet's Vegetable Soup, but invited us to find inspiration in any of the pages. On the Page... While the boys were playing around the lake during our week in Tahoe earlier in the month, I stayed by the fire and finished this book in one sitting. Loved it. photo by R

Pistachio Dukkah for #HandCraftedEdibles

In an effort to make all of my holiday gifts this year, we are sharing recipes for hand-crafted edibles. Over the course of twelve weeks, we'll be sharing recipes that you can make at home to give to friends and loved ones, or things to serve at holiday parties. We hope you'll follow along for inspiration. You can find out more information, including the schedule:  here . This week, we are "going nuts" and sharing all sorts of recipes with nuts. Think spiced nuts or nutty fruit cake or whatever floats your nutty boat! Here's what we're posting this week... Amy's Cooking Adventures  shared her Salted Chocolate Cashew Butter Cookaholic Wife  cooked up Slow Cooker Cinnamon Almonds Making Miracles  made Honey Roasted Almonds Christmas Tree Lane  posted Crockpot Spiced Nuts A Day in the Life on the Farm  wrote about the Easiest Nut Brittle in the World Sew You Think You Can Cook  prepared Orange Rosemary Roasted Almonds Culinary Adventur