Welcome to episode 1 of my new series, Let’s Cook Italy.
We are starting off strong with the region, Lazio. Lazio is found in west-central Italy, home of the capital Rome and famous for the ancient ruins of the Colosseum, Vatican City and Trevi Fountain just to name a few.
The Eternal City is home to some of the most fabulous recipes and is incredibly famous for its magnificent pasta dishes, including the ever-so-popular, carbonara. An authentic spaghetti carbonara is a classic dish that originated in Rome. It's known for its creamy texture and rich flavour, created without the use of heavy cream but relying on eggs and cheese for its lusciousness.
This is the best Spaghetti alla Carbonara you will ever make!
Carbonara only requires very few ingredients, such as eggs, guanciale, pecorino Romano cheese and fresh ground pepper. The technique of making a carbonara with eggs can be quite confronting at first but once you have mastered it, you will never make carbonara any other way. It will be a family favourite and be one of the best Spaghetti alla Carbonara you will ever make.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara - Makes 4
400g dried spaghetti
1 ½ cups grated pecorino Romano cheese + extra for serving
4 egg yolks
250g guanciale, thinly sliced
1 tsp whole Black peppercorns
Heat a large saucepan over low to medium heat and add whole peppercorns. Swirl them around in the pan, toasting for 1-2 minutes. Remove from the heat and use a mortar to grind into a coarse ground texture. Once ground, set aside.
Heat the same saucepan over low to medium heat and add guanciale, frying for 4-5 minutes until golden and crispy. Remove fried guanciale with a slotted spoon and turn off the heat. Reserve some of the oil from the guanciale for the egg mixture.
Heat a large pot with salted water and cook the spaghetti until al-dente.
While the spaghetti is cooking in two separate bowls, separate the egg yolks from the whites. Reserve the whites and use them for another dish of your choice. Add the pecorino Romano cheese, ¾ of the ground pepper, a few tablespoons of the guanciale oil and a little pasta water to the egg yolks and cheese. The heat of the oil and water will help loosen up the egg mixture, creating a silky and smooth texture. Adjust accordingly.
Heat the saucepan once again over low heat, adding ¾ of guanciale to the spaghetti and reserving the rest for garnish. Drain the spaghetti and add to the saucepan. Give the spaghetti a little toss with the guanciale, allowing for the guanciale oil to infuse the pasta.
Turn off the heat and pour the silky egg and cheese mixture into the spaghetti, tossing with tongs very quickly to mix together to avoid the eggs from scrambling. If you find the mixture is too thick, add a few spoonsful of pasta water which will help loosen up the sauce.
Serve spaghetti carbonara in bowls immediately, topped with more grated pecorino and remaining ground pepper. Buon Appetito! x