Roman-Style Spaghetti Carbonara
Many versions of carbonara use American style smoked bacon whose smoky accents can sometimes overwhelm the dish. Some Roman versions use salted pork jowl, which is not smoked and much sweeter than bacon (somewhat difficult to find outside of Italy). My version uses pancetta (Italian salt cured bacon), which supplies a comparably rounded and mellow flavor. Also, my version does not use whole eggs. I use egg yolks...I use multiple egg yolks...along with a little heavy cream to create an unctuously rich and luscious sauce. Mmm Mmm good!
"I have made this several times. I cut back on the number of green onions and am careful to pre-cook bacon and pour off most all the grease. I prefer the taste and health benefits of olive oil. Excellent dish."- Porpo83
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|4 ouncesSpaghetti; (or other pasta like fettuccini, linguine, or tortellini)|
|4 ouncesPancetta; cut into 1/4-inch dice|
|3 largeEgg yolks|
|1/4 cupHeavy cream|
|1 tablespoonExtra-Virgin Olive Oil|
|6 Green onions; sliced 1/4-inch thick|
|2 clovesGarlic; finely minced|
|1/8 cupPasta cooking water; (up to 1/4 cup)|
|Salt and black pepper; freshly ground|
|Pecorino Romano cheese; (optional)|
Roman-Style Spaghetti Carbonara Preparation
Add olive oil to a large skillet or saute pan over medium heat. Add diced pancetta and cook, stirring frequently until lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add in the garlic and onion and continue cooking and stirring until just fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente (just tender).
In a small bowl mix together egg yolks, cream, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Just before the pasta is finished cooking, remove 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the hot pasta water and slowly whisk into the egg yolk mixture (to temper eggs), beating vigorously to prevent eggs from scrambling.
Quickly drain the pasta in a colander and return to pot. Immediately toss in the egg and pancetta mixtures, stirring the spaghetti continuously to both cook the eggs and coat the pasta. Serve immediately in heated bowls with a healthy grind of black pepper and season with salt to taste. Top with grated Pecorino Romano, if desired
Fresh asparagus is a wonderful side dish with this meal and a good Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc washes it down nicely.
If you can't get pancetta, you can substitute ordinary bacon, but ham would be a better choice.
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