For those of us who live in northern climates, soon to be raking up the leaves and eventually shoveling out the driveway, a rib sticking carbonara is just the thing. It is incredibly quick and easy. If you can boil water and fry bacon, you’ve got an authentic Italian dish that will put a smile on the face of any tired raker or shoveler.
The term “carbonara” means “blacksmith’s style”. This calorie packed dish is tailor-made for providing energy for the rigors of heavy physical labor.
Legend has it that the muscular blacksmith would try a local farmhouse to procure a fresh egg and add it to his Parmesan cheese and panchetta for his mid-day meal. Who knows, if the farmer’s daughter was pretty, he might just try to steal a kiss
There are two schools of carbonara. Some Take heated cream and temper an egg yolk in it, then add Parmesan cheese and the cooked panchetta or bacon.
The way I was taught is that you add the egg yolk to the cheese and cook it in the hot pasta. Go with what you know, right?
Ingredients: 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesano Regiano, 4 strips of bacon, or panchetta, 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper to taste. This recipe should do for 1 box of pasta.
Preparation: In a small bowl add 1 cup of Parmesan cheese and 2 egg yolks. Mix together into an oatmeal-like consistency. Chop the bacon or panchetta and fry in a pan.
Cook the capellini, which is a very fine pasta, about 6 to 8 minutes for “al dente”, meaning slightly resistant to the bite.
Quickly drain the pasta and work fast! Put the bacon (grease and all) together with the cheese and egg mixture and toss together until the pasta is well coated. You may add some cream if you desire a more liquid sauce.
Capellini means “fine hair”, it is only slightly thicker than Capellini angelica, or “angel-hair” pasta. I don’t mean to rock the boat or bring a vendetta upon myself, but I would use a thicker pasta like linguine or spaghetti for this dish. The vigorous mixing that is required might break up the thin capellini into too many short pieces. Definitely add cream to the capellini to make the mixing go easier.
Unless you are planning to pound horseshoes all day, I wouldn’t recommend this dish as regular fare. I’d like to keep you alive to read some of my other recipes. But all kidding aside, it’s really delicious
Wine Pairing: Have a robust wine with this dish, like a Barolo or Chianti. Don’t forget to invite the farmer’s daughter or your favorite blacksmith!
*Just a small postscript: When I started my spell check the program prompted me to change “carbonara” to “coronary”. Is my computer trying to tell me something?