Sinner’s Pasta Carbonara
Ok, I confess that I’ve sinned! Putting parsley on top and not using Spaghetti for Carbonara is a blasphemy for my Italian Chef. But I had reasons and at least I didn’t use cream like most. I think the Linguine holds on better to that great sauce and parsley is giving freshness to the plate with its color and perfume. Except those small (but horrible) details, this is a good, true to its roots recipe! For me the most important part of this classic is using Guanciale. It is the dried and aged pork cheek which has more fat and flavor than Pancetta or Bacon. Of course it is hard to get and you could replace it with others but it definitely won’t be the same.
- Total Time: 30 minutes
- Yield: 2 people 1x
- 100g Linguine (Originally Spaghetti)
- 50g Guanciale
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 30g Pecorino Romano
- Fresh coarsely ground Black Pepper
- 1 tsp Salt
- First we will mix the egg yolks and the cheese thoroughly. It will be like a thick paste but don’t worry pasta water will loosen it later. Add black pepper as you like. If you don’t like the heavy taste of sheep Pecorino, you may exchange it with Parmigiano. (Sin!)
- An important point is the salt ratio of the pasta water. Normally a lot of salt in water is crucial for most pasta dishes. But in Carbonara, we have a lot of salty cheese and cured meat. So we don’t want to salt the water too much because we will use some of that starchy water for sauce too.
- We’ll start cooking the pasta and be careful about timing. We want to cook it until 1min before Al dente, so we could finish it on the pan with the sauce to perfection. (You know that you “must” eat it Al dente…right?)
- While it is cooking we’ll cut the Guanciale into small strips. Not too thin or thick, 4-5mm will do. In a pan, we’ll slowly melt its fat first on mid-heat. When it is rendered, the heat will get higher to crisp them up a bit.
- We’ll toss the nearly cooked pasta into the pan after sieved and keep some of that pasta water. We should coat the pasta with fat really good. Now we will loosen the egg mix with 2 tablespoons of the starchy water.
- Turn the gas off of the pan and add a little bit of pasta water here too before adding the eggs. The remaining heat will be enough to cook the mixture and even turn them into scrambled eggs if you don’t mix it fast. The liquid will keep the pasta saucy too so don’t be scared to add a little bit of it to play it safe.
- Plate it and sprinkle some more cheese and pepper. Don’t you dare add parsley!
- The softness of that golden cream and crunch of the Guanciale, those smells…This plate always reminds me of the best sides of Italian cuisine. Simple but quality ingredients are handled with great care. Creating amazing looks and tastes!
- Buon appetito!
The softness of that golden cream and crunch of the Guanciale, those smells…This plate always reminds me the best sides of the Italian cuisine. Simple but quality ingredients are handled with great care. Creating amazing looks and tastes!
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Italian