Spaghetti alla carbonara... recipe by Rick Stein...

At our house we eat pasta dishes a lot, this one was inspired - and the recipe is exactly the same one - by one of Rick Stein's programmes. I've cooked spaghetti alla carbonara before but... I have to admit that I've added the cream. There is an ongoing debate whether the cream should be used to make the sauce or not. Italians will tell you that you can't add cream, as it's not the proper way of doing carbonara. People outside the Italy will tell you that thanks to the cream the sauce is better - thicker and creamier... Decision is yours, but... I think I'll stick with "the real deal" and won't add the cream anymore to my carbonara, I always say that if something isn't broken - why fix it! ;) Enjoy!

"The dish forms part of a family of dishes involving pasta with bacon, cheese, and pepper, such as spaghetti alla gricia. Indeed, it is very similar to the southern Italian pasta cacio e uova, dressed with melted lard and mixed eggs and cheese (...) There are many theories for the origin of the name, which may be more recent than the dish itself. Since the name is derived from carbonaro (the Italian word for charcoal burner), some believe the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers. In parts of the United States the etymology gave rise to the term "coal miner's spaghetti". It has even been suggested that it was created as a tribute to the Carbonari ("charcoalmen"), a secret society prominent in the early, repressed stages of Italian unification.It seems more likely that it is an urban dish from Rome, although it has nothing to do with the homonym restaurant in the roman Campo de' Fiori square." - by

How to make it...
- 400 g dried spaghetti
- 175 g piece smoked pancetta, rind removed (used streaky bacon)
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- handful of flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped
- 3 large eggs, beaten
- 50 g finely grated pecorino sardo maturo
- salt and freshly ground black pepper

Boil big pot of water, salt it generously, add the spaghetti and cook for nine minutes or until al dente. Meanwhile, cut the pancetta into lardons (short little strips), about 6mm wide. Heat a large, deep frying pan, add the oil and the pancetta and allow it to fry until lightly golden. Add the garlic and parsley and cook for a few seconds, remove from the heat and set aside.
Drain the spaghetti well, tip into the frying pan with the pancetta, garlic and parsley, add the beaten eggs and half the grated pecorino cheese and toss together well. Season to taste with a little salt and black pepper. The heat from the spaghetti will be sufficient to partly cook the egg but still leave it moist and creamy. Serve immediately, sprinkled with the rest of the cheese.


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