14 December 2008

Spaghetti Carbonara

from GQ Magazine, December 2007. Props to Dom for catching it and making it first

Absolutely Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara

(serves two)
1/2 box spaghetti
hunk of pancetta or thick-cut bacon
extra-virgin olive oil
2 eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. put the pasta into lightly salted boiling water

2. put a handful of pancetta, cut into quarter-inch matchsticks, into a frying pan over medium-high heat. add a tablespoon or two of olive oil

3. while the pancetta and spaghetti are cooking, break the eggs into a mixing bowl. pick a good bowl since you'll be using it both to prepare and to serve the spaghetti. add half a handful of freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and a pinch or two of pepper. beat the mixture together, only enough to combine everything evenly.

4. since the pancetta will take only about five to ten minutes till it's nicely browned, turn down the heat to low until you're ready to assemble the dish. when the spaghetti's done, strain it and add it to the egg mixture in the bowl. add a small handful of cheese and toss the mixture well with a couple of forks until the spaghetti is coated. a lot of people put the pasta in the pan with pancetta, Pesce (Pietro Pesce, chef of Hostaria Romana- the creator of this recipe) says, which ruins the delicate flavor of the sauce- and you'll end up with scrambled eggs

5. immediately turn the heat back up on the pancetta for 30 seconds, until it's sizzling, then pour off about half the fat. dump the pancetta and remaining fat onto the pasta and sprinkle with more cheese and some pepper. let it sit for about 30 seconds before mixing- if the pancetta's too hot, the sauce won't blend well.

6. serve yourself in a clean bowl and give the bowl the pasta was mixed in to your guest- this is the orginale, which has the good stuff at the bottom and is considered good luck. as for you, you can whip up fine pasta in fifteen minutes. who needs luck?

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