Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

I've never eaten real Italian Pasta alla Carbonara, but this video makes it look insanely good with loads of parmigiano and pecorino cheese "amalgamated" with pasta starch water and egg. The closest I've had is a creamy version from a take out place on the island of Santorini that was, while not authentically Italian, still an outstanding dish. After watching this, I've just got to try the real thing! The video was taken from the kitchen of Giancarlone in Rome. It doesn't look like I can embed the video (it was taken down from Youtube), so here's the link to the video from

Buon appetito!

In case the video gets taken down again, here's the text recipe from that I've slightly edited.
Spaghetti Carbonara (Spaghetti alla Carbonara)
Ingredients for 4 persons
  • 360 gr. (12.69 oz.) Spaghetti
  • 60 gr. (2.11 oz.) Guanciale (Pork cheek)
  • 80 gr. (2.82 oz.) Parmesan cheese
  • 80 gr. (2.82 oz.) Pecorino cheese
  • 4 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  1. Pour the extra virgin olive oil into the frying pan, add a handful of diced guanciale* (per person) and 1 teaspoon of black pepper which seasons the sauce, and put the pan on a low heat [note: it looks from the video that 1 tsp. of black pepper is added per person]
  2. Meanwhile crack the whole egg (1 per person) into a dish, beat it with a fork, and add a pinch of black pepper, 1 tablespoon of fresh grated pecorino (ewe's cheese), and a half tablespoon of parmesan and beat it again amalgamating all ingredients
  3. Now put the spaghetti into a pot of boiling salted water, 90-110 Gr. (3.17-3.88 Oz.) per person
  4. Continue to cook the guanciale on low heat until becomes crispy
  5. Once guanciale is crispy, to make a tender pasta, add a little pasta cooking water into the pan (in this way the starch of the water helps to amalgamate all ingredients), turn off the heat and wait for the end of the pasta cooking time
  6. Once Spaghetti are cooked "al dente", before draining, place the pan on the stove and heat the sauce
  7. At this point drain the pasta and put it into the pan, add a little more pasta cooking water, take the cheese/egg mixture, beat it again and pour into the pan
  8. Stir slowly, sautè, add a little pecorino cheese, a little parmesan cheese, and a little more pasta cooking water
  9. Stir again over low heat, and if the pan is too hot remove it from heat
  10. Transfer the pasta to a serving dish garnished with a little pecorino and a parmesan, add the sauce all over spaghetti and serve
*Guanciale is traditionally used to make the real and classic Carbonara recipe, if you don't find guanciale use a good quality bacon or pancetta.

Please, try it without cream or other ingredients and you'll taste the difference, enjoy your meal!

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