The very first time I heard of Carbonara must have been when I was about eighteen or nineteen years old. I had moved out from my parents house but hadn’t got an apartment yet and was living at a friends place. One day one of my friends suggested he would cook for us, and I was kind of amazed. None of my friends ever cooked something.

Well, we gathered what coins we could find and went down to the local store. Found spaghetti and some bacon, but then we needed eggs. We did not have enough money to buy a whole six-pack (wish is the common way to buy eggs here). So we asked the clerk if we could buy just two eggs.

– I’m sorry sir, he said (with what to us seemed as a smug smile) but you can only get them in packages of six. If you buy one, we can’t sell the other five. Sorry. Can’t do.

– BUT WE ARE MAKING CARBONARA. My friend yelled loudly with a special stress on the word Carbonara. YOU CANT MAKE CARBONARA WITHOUT EGGS!!!!! HOW CAN YOU SUGGEST THAT WE SHOULD MAKE CARBONARA WITHOUT EGGS: THAT’S CRAZY!!!!! THAT’S JUST CRAZY!!!!!

The poor clerk had to give in and we got our Carbonara. I loved it. Now days, every time I cook Spaghetti Carbonara I think of this story.

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Here is how I make this dish:

400 gr spaghetti
2 (whole) egg + 2 (additional) yolk
200 gr (7 oz.) sliced guanciale (or pancetta)
1/2 cup grated salty Italian (preferably Roman) cheese like Pecorino
1/2 cup of white wine
1/2 cup of pasta water

 

Whip eggs, mix in the wine and some of the cheese.
Boil pasta and fry the pancetta. Remove from heat and mix all ingredients.
Add about half a cup of the water used for boiling the pasta.
Stir the rest of the grated cheese and freshly grounded black pepper over it.

It takes five to ten minutes to make and it’s perfect for hungry teenagers. Both 25 years ago when I was young and still today: It’s my son’s favorite. 😉

 

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Pecorino and Guanciale

 

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