Maria Liberati’s Pasta Carbonara
This is a typical dish from Rome. The pecorino cheese used is typically pecorino from Rome or Pecorino Romano. The Romans tend to like dishes that are simple, without a lot of ingredients and not snobbish-just real food. That is the secret to the great food that you find in Rome-authentic, fresh food.
Any way this is not a dish for the faint of heart of those that have high cholesterol since it’s principal ingresients are egg yolks, cream and Italian style bacon (pancetta). The other ingredients typically are freshly grated pecorino cheese, freshly grated black pepper, spaghetti or vermicelli.
The legend has it that is was invented by a secret society in Italy. The society was called La Carboniera. But another legend credits a man from Naples- Ippolito Cavalcanti with the invention of the dish. Another credits the Abruzzo region (where I live). And there are many others. Either way it is a wonderful pasta dish.
Here is a recipe for 4-6 people from The Basic Art of Italian Cooking-Spaghetti at Midnight (the first 10 pasta recipes are free and downloadable at www.marialiberati.com)
*1 lb of spaghetti or vermicelli
*1/2 lb pancetta-cut into cubes
*2 eggs plus 2 yolks
*2 tblsps extra virgin olive oil
*2 tbsps heavy cream
*freshly grated black pepper
*freshly grated pecorino cheese
In frying pan place in olive oil, put on low heat. Place in pancetta and fry till just turning golden but not crispy. Remove with slotted spoon, place on towel paper to drain.
Braek eggs and palce into a large bowl, beat with a fork, add in freshly grated pecorino chesse and black pepper, cream, beat with fork, let stand.
Boil water for pasta, place in tblsp of sea salt or coarse salt. Place in spaghetti when water is at rolling boil. Cook till al dente. Then while hot, place in bowl with eggs. Toss, while pasta is coated with eggs the heat of pasta will cook the eggs. Or you can place in a large saute pan on very low heat and toss quickly- you don’t want it to be a spaghetti omelet Place in cooked pancetta.Toss,
Serve, top individual dishes with freshly grated pecorino and black pepper.