Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Spaghetti alla Carbonara – A hot meal, fast and easy

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is fast and easy Italian recipe used widely across the peninsula however it is a primary staple in the regions of Lazio and Umbria. The origins of this savory dish are doubtful. Some believe the origins date back to the times of the Roman Empire, while others tie its creation to the Carbonari, a secret organization of Umbria, who would have made this pasta dish with ingredients readily available in their hideouts. The most probable is that Carbonara was created following WWII during the American occupation of Italy. Bacon and Eggs were available on the black market and when combined with spaghetti became a nutritious and satisfying meal. This version is further supported by the lack of any literary mention of Carbonara until 1944.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is appropriate anytime and as a first plate with just about any meat dish. It is a perfect midnight snack after an evening out with friends or as a quick hot lunch for the kids. Both white, such as Pinot Grigio or Greco di Tufo, and light red wines can accompany the Carbonara.

Ingredients for 4 people:

1 lb (400 gr.) of Spaghetti (penne rigate or rigatoni can also be used)
¼ lb. (125 gr.) of Pancetta, Bacon or Ham Hocks diced in small cubes
3 eggs
4 tablespoons of grated Parmesan Cheese
4 tablespoons of grated Pecorino Romano
1 tablespoon of heavy cream
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
fresh ground pepper


Place the Olive Oil and pancetta (or bacon) in a skillet and cook over medium heat

Cook the pasta, Spaghetti or Rigatoni, in boiling hot, salted water.

In a separate bowl whisk the eggs, salt, pepper, heavy cream, Parmesan and Pecorino. The mixture should be uniform in texture.

When the pasta is cooked, drain, and return the drained pasta to the hot pot where the pasta was cooked. Add the cooked pancetta and the egg mixture, stir and serve immediately in individual plates. Add ground pepper on the pasta to taste.


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Blogger a.c.t. said...

My heart sank when I opened your page and not because I don't love carbonara, but because I was going to use it as a recipe of the week ;-). This had to be one of my favourite pasta dishes; delicious and quick. It has to be with spaghetti though and I like to sautee an onion to go with it too.

2:36 PM

Blogger Travel Italy said...

ATC - I am sorry, I have been wanting to publish carbonara for some time. This is my version, the one I made for my kids. Raffaella has her version which I will publish tomorrow (it has more eggs and cream and the process is a bit different).

ACT writes a very interesting blog from the UK with an Italian influence. I read her everyday.

3:14 PM

Blogger Ann said...

Carbonara, one of if not my ultimate favorite. Except I don't use cream or parmesan in mine. I know there's probably some variations, like one of my husband's friends also puts freshly chopped basil in his. Also love Spaghetti aglio olio pepperoncino (spaghetti, garlic, oil and red hot chili pepper)

8:44 AM


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