Monday, 4 July 2011

Recipe XVI - Pasta Carbonara

Please excuse the one-day delay in this recipe - I had quite a busy weekend, and I'm only now coming to terms with the fact it's Monday...

To make a carbonara is one of life's little pleasures in my kitchen - it's simple, quick and is perfect for this type of weather as it re-salts your body after sweating so much in the heat. I like my Speck/pancetta nice and chunky, because it looks so appetising!
Carbonara is not, like the packets in supermarkets like you to think, a runny cheese sauce, at all. It is more like scrambled eggs wrapped in pasta. Don't leave the final part of the sauce too long to cook though, or you'll be having an omelette instead...

Timing is the key.

200-300g pancetta/Speck (or equivalent smoked pork belly from your local area is also OK)
4 eggs
1 medium-sized onion
4-5 cloves of garlic
1 small carton (140ml) of cream
150g pecorino/cacciotta di pecora (or parmesan, if you can't get any)
Some fresh marjoram
Ground black pepper
I also like to add one ball of mozzarella, but only because I am addicted to it.

  • Cut up the onion and garlic into small pieces.
  • Take your kitchen scissors and cut the pancetta into strips.
  • Fry the onion, garlic and the pancetta lightly in the pan until crisp.
  • Meanwhile, heat up your (lightly salted) water.
  • Crack open the eggs and beat them. Add the cream, mozzarella and some of your cheese.
  • Pour the egg mixture into the pan with the pancetta and turn the heat up a little. Cook until the consistency is to your liking.
  • Add the pasta to the pan as soon as it is al dente. Do not leave it to cook much longer, or it will become a mushy pap.
  • Stir all the ingredients in very well and serve immediately.
Buon appetito!

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