Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Spaghetti alla Carbonara can be one of the highest fat dishes on the Italian American menu.  Yet when you actually watch the dish being prepared by people in Italy, the majority of the versions I’ve seen use pancetta, eggs, cracked black pepper and pasta water to make the dish.  In America we’ve added heavy cream to make the dish more luxurious but we’ve also significantly increased the calories in this one.  In my version, I’ve not only returned the dish to its Italian preparation, I’ve also added sautéed onions and peas to the recipe to increase the volume of food on the plate without adding more pasta.  Once you try it this way, I think you’ll agree that this is one of the simplest dishes of Italian comfort food you can throw together in less than 20 minutes. 

Ingredients list (for 1 serving)
·         2 ½ ounces of gluten free spaghetti
·         1 heaping tbsp frozen peas
·         1 oz of pancetta or bacon, diced
·         ½ a large onion, thinly sliced
·         1 tsp of olive oil
·         1 egg
·         2 tbsp of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
·         salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients list (for 4 servings)
·         10 oz of gluten free spaghetti
·         1/3 cup frozen peas
·         4 oz of pancetta or bacon, diced
·         2 onions, thinly sliced
·         1 tbsp of olive oil
·         4 eggs
·         8 tbsp of grated Pecorino Romano cheese
·         salt and coarsely ground black pepper, to taste

Video Tutorial:


1.      Bring a pot of salted water to a boil.  
2.      In a small bowl beat the egg, cheese and pepper together until thoroughly blended and set aside. 
3.      When the water is boiling, add the pasta and stir then immediately begin the sauce.   
4.      In a large nonstick skillet, over medium heat add the onion, pancetta, and oil and sauté until the pancetta starts to get crispy and the onions begin to get transparent, about 8 minutes.   
5.      By now the pasta should be done.  Drain it while reserving the pasta cooking water.  Add the pasta to the pan with the onions and pancetta along with a few tablespoons of the pasta cooking water and stir.  Add the peas and stir again.  If at any time the pan is too dry add a little pasta water. 
6.      Stream the egg mixture into the pan while stirring the pasta and immediately remove it from the heat so you won’t scramble the eggs.  The residual heat will cook the eggs. Stir until the pasta is well coated and the dish is ready to serve.  Twist the pasta into a nest as you plate the dish so that it maintains its heat then sprinkle with additional pepper and cheese if you wish.    


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