One weekend in Rome left me with a serious carbonara addiction. I had eaten carbonara before but nothing that tasted like this. It was silky smooth, rich and utterly satisfying. At home, attempting to replicate the classic dish I discovered the key was to cut out any extra ingredients, cream being the most obvious omission. The beauty of a good carbonara is its simplicity.
300g fresh spaghetti (I actually used tagiatelle because that is what I had)
100g guanciale (pancetta), finely chopped
50g parmesan, finely grated
50 g butter
Salt and pepper to season
|Grating the cheese|
1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Meanwhile beat the eggs in a bowl and add most of the parmesan and season with salt and pepper.
2. Once the water has boiled add the pasta and cook until almost al dente. This will take about 3 mins for fresh pasta and 10 mins for dried pasta.
3. While the pasta is cooking heat the butter over a low heat in a fry pan then add the pancetta. Cook on a medium heat for 5 mins while stirring until the pancetta is golden.
|Cooking the pancetta|
4. When the pasta is ready lift it from the water with a pasta fork or tongs and put it in the frying pan with the pancetta. Make sure some of the pasta water drops in as well to add some moisture and don’t throw the rest of the pasta water away yet.
5. Take the frying pan of spaghetti and pancetta off the heat. Now quickly pour in the eggs and cheese and, using the tongs mix the spaghetti with the egg mixture. It is important the pan is off the heat otherwise you end up with scrambled eggs.
6. Add some extra pasta cooking water if needed and divide onto plates to serve.
7. Season with more salt and pepper and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan.
Serves four (Actually – serves two if you want a really big bowl of it. You probably do. Thanks for the special comments).