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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Dima's Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Easy  |  Serves 6

This is a classic Italian dish that you will find on the menus of almost every Italian restaurant. There are many variations to this recipe and ways of incorporating its ingredients. This is my version, and how I like it prepared. I find great comfort in a warm dish of pasta, and love nothing more than unwinding with this Carbonara and a glass of wine after a long day at work! Hope you enjoy it, and give it a go, because I am telling you, it is a treat! 

The addition of Fromagio Pecorino - Pecorino Cheese, one of my favourite Italian cheeses - gives it a depth of flavor as opposed to that made with only Parmesan cheese, or with other cheeses. Pecorino has a fruity hint to it, it is tangier than Parmesan cheese and deeper. I use it it very frequently in my Italian cooking.

Vintage Pecorino
Here is some info on Pecorino 
It is made out of sheep’s milk and the process of making it is very interesting. It is basically about curdling the milk, and gathering the curdled part in a mould, while pressing out all the liquid. The curd will then take the shape of the mould and become more solid. It is then coated with a layer of coarse sea salt. It can be had fresh or aged. Of course vintage cheeses have a deeper flavor and is therefore sharper. 


Please buy real cheese and grate it at home, do not use pre-grated and packed cheeses. This makes a huge difference to the flavor and quality of your food!




This Spaghetti Alla Carbonara is delicious, and super easy to make. Everyone will love it and it will become a regular request by your family. Try it out and see how good it is J


You Need
150g Pancetta, sliced 3mm thick
(pancetta is the best accompaniment, but if not found or if you do not wish to have pork, then try turkey bacon instead)
1 tbsp EV Olive Oil
2 cloves Garlic, thinly sliced
1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 packet Spaghetti noodles (try brown Spaghetti as its richer in fibers than white pasta)
1 tsp onion flakes (found in supermarkets where the spices and dried herbs are)
A handful of finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tbsp butter, softened
50g Pecorino, freshly grated
50g Parmesan, freshly grated
9 large egg yolks, slightly beaten with a fork
1 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley for garnish


Bring salted water to a boil, adding freshly ground black pepper and onion flakes to it. Once boiled add the spaghetti and cook till Al dente and drain, but do not wash.  


Meanwhile, cube Pancetta, heat the olive oil together with chopped onion and sliced garlic, until translucent but not browned. Use a deep heavy bottomed saucepan. Turn the heat to low and add the cubed pancetta, sprinkle with freshly grated black pepper. Cook pancetta till browned but not crisp. Still on low heat, add the butter and finely chopped parsley to pancetta. When butter is melted in the still hot pan, add the cooked spaghetti and toss well to coat the spaghetti and combine all ingredients. Add the grated pecorino and half the parmesan, then immediately add the egg yolks, while pan is still warm. Toss to coat.

Note that the eggs will be tempered by the heat of the pan and therefore do not pause a health risk here. But if your pan was too hot and you did not toss quickly you will end up with scrambled eggs which is a disaster! The idea is for the eggs to coat all like a creamy sauce.

Plate your pasta, and sprinkle the tops with the coarsely chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper and some toasted pine nuts. Top all with the remaining grated parmesan cheese and serve warm.



Bon Apetito

Hope you like Pasta because this is so good, you really don't want to miss out! Have you seen my post Understanding Pasta - All There is to Know ? if you haven't make sure to check it out, it is a very nice introduction to pasta, so you can start making some delectable pasta dishes yourself :)
Don't forget to leave me a comment and tell me what you think of this recipe :)

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