Obviously the Italians are pasta fanatics. Many hours can be pleasantly spent arguing over the minutiae of a pasta’s quality. But there are some universal truths. First off, if your pasta has a golden hue it means it contains farm-fresh eggs. Secondly, if pasta is slow dried in air - the process takes a few days - it is more porous than industrial pasta which is dried quickly, using heat, and as a result is partially cooked. Really decent pasta, like ours, is very porous so will soak up liquid bit by bit, just as Arborio rice does in risotto. So you can half-cook the pasta in boiling water, then finish it off by cooking it in the actual sauce. If you want to give this a go there is a great recipe for wild chicory spaghetti here on the blog. Below we’ve got a simple and classic recipe for you to try. A lot of ‘modern’ recipes add cream to Carbonara sauce, but the good old traditional recipes use parmesan or pecorino to give you the rich creaminess with your pasta instead.
- 150 g Pancetta, cubed
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 cloves Garlic
- 350 g Spaghetti
- 1 whole eggs plus 2 yolks
- Pepper to taste
- 80 g Parmesan, grated
- Heat the oil in a big pan. Add the pancetta cubes and whole garlic clove.
- Cook the meat until the garlic clove starts to brown, at which point you remove and chuck the garlic.
- Meanwhile cook your pasta until its al dente in unsalted water (there should be enough saltiness in the pancetta and cheese, unless you’re an old seadog).
- In a mixing bowl lightly beat the egg and yolks, and add a bit of pepper.
- Drain the pasta and add it to the pancetta in the pan off the heat. Add the egg mixture on top and mix in well so the pasta is all nice and coated.
- Then add the grated cheese and mix in again.
- Serve immediately with a bit more parmesan sprinkled on top if you like.