Sunday Pasta Dinner: Carbonara
Aside from design and papergoods, my other passion is cooking. More specifically — cooking pasta! I've taken it upon my self to learn how to make all of the dishes that Lupa and Pepi made when I was growing up. The latest dish that I've been perfecting is carbonara. As my husband says "fat equals flavor" and boy oh boy does this dish deliver!
I've been working with is Mario Batali's Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe and there are a few things that I've learned thus far. First of all — since there are only a few ingredients, it's imperative that each is high quality. This is what will bring the dish to the next level. Also, timing is everything with carbonara so have all of the ingredients grated, chopped and ready to go!
INGREDIENTS clockwise from top left
– Freshly Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano: Grab a chunk of Parmigiano, a grater and get grating! While it's not as easy as opening a package and dumping it in the bowl, it will be so worth it!
– Pancetta: Skip the pre-packaged, already chopped up pancetta and hit up the deli counter. Ask the butcher to cut it as thick as possible.
– Pasta: I usually would use something twirlable (e.g. bucatini) but in this instance, I'm using this bag of spaccatelli from Sfoglini. My husband recently surprised me with their pasta of the month (he knows the way to my heart!). Their pasta is fresh, super tasty and two bags arrive every month — perfetto!
– Freshly Ground Black Pepper: Key here is "fresh" — whether you have a spice grinder or a pepper mill, make sure that pepper is freshly ground!
– Extra-Virgin Olive Oil: I know I've been touting "quality, quality" but here is one ingredient in this recipe that doesn't need to be the best. Since it's getting heated up in the pan, it can be average joe olive oil. If you end up using any as a finishing, make that the good stuff!
– Eggs: This ingredient is the finishing touch on carbonara so if you're game, spring for the organic crazy expensive eggs and enjoy how delectable they make this dish!
One thing that feels missing to me in this recipe is garlic! My family usually adds it to the pan by the handful! Thus far I have not missed it because this recipe is so damn flavorful. That being said, don't be surprised if a couple Sundays from now garlic finds its way into my carbonara! Buon appetito!