A Roman Tradition

Pecorino Romano Guanciale Eggs Black Pepper

Carbonara, one of Italy’s most celebrated pasta dishes is a traditional Roman recipe, and often made incorrectly around the world. I’ll confess that for many years I was making this recipe all wrong too. While I will frequently rave about my mother’s cooking and her wonderful recipes, I am sorry to say that her Carbonara recipe wasn’t at all traditional. It was good (we loved it)… but it would make any Roman screw up his nose if presented with the list of ingredients.

When I moved to Rome from Tuscany, I made it a priority to perfect my Carbonara recipe. I asked chefs, cooks, Nonnas, friends (just about everyone actually) how they made their Carbonara, and I realised that although everyone may change the quantity of each ingredient, the fundamental ingredients don’t ever change. Variations to Carbonara should never be accepted and if you do decide to add garlic, leeks, peas, mushrooms, parsley or (God forbid) cream, please give your pasta dish another name.

SPAGHETTI CARBONARA 250g Spaghetti 200g Guanciale 1 egg + 2 egg yolks 250g finely grated Pecorino Romano Cheese Black Pepper (good quality)

Bring a large saucepan of water to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook respecting cooking times written on the packet, cooking pasta until it is ‘al dente’. Remove the thick skin from the Guanciale with a sharp knife. Remove any hard, dried parts on the side with the peppers & spices. Cut guanciale into cubes. Add to a large frying pan and fry over a low heat until it is crisp and golden. Turn off heat, and remove some of the guanciale to use as garnish later. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and yolks with the freshly grated Pecorino Romano and a generous dose of cracked black pepper. It won’t be liquid, resembling more an egg and cheese paste. Drain the pasta when ready and then return the cooked pasta to the saucepan. Add the guanciale and all the fat in the pan and stir well. Ensuring the saucepan is away from the heat, add the egg and cheese mixture and stir vigorously. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg, and the cheese and egg mixture should become a luxurious and creamy coating for your pasta. *DO NOT stir in egg mix with saucepan over the heat otherwise it will result in a very ugly scrambled egg pasta. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of freshly grated pecorino, and a little extra cracked black pepper.

To read more about the history and ingredients for Spaghetti Carbonara, please visit my BLOG: INSTAGRAM: Toni Brancatisano #stellerstories #stellerid #stellerfood #foodanddrink #stellerrecipes #stellercooking #recipe #foodphotography

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