CLASSIC pasta spaghetti alla carbonara (or farfalle)








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A Roman classic, with a variety of tales about its origin. Whatever that origin may be, it has become not only a Roman but a world-wide favorite.

The classic, or course, is with spaghetti. But we have also enjoyed using farfalle with this superb, all-time favorite. (see below)

for the sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2  tablespoons butter
  • 4 ounces guanciale (preferred), pancetta, or bacon
  • 3 small cloves of garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 4 tbsp Pecorino Romana
  • 4 tbsp freshly grated parmesan
  • a tablespoon or two of chopped parsley
  • salt
  • lots of freshly ground pepper

for the pasta:

  • one pound spaghetti. (or farfalle)

Cut the guanciale or pancetta or bacon into roughly one-quarter inch thin strips.

If using guanciale, put it in a saute pan, and cook over medium heat until browned. Remove it, set aside and discard the oil.

For pancetta and bacon: heat the butter and oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. This pan should be big enough to eventually mix the spaghetti. Add the garlic and cook until it starts to sizzle. Spoon it out of the pan and discard it. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is lightly browned and starting to crisp.(If guanciale, put the pre-cooked guanciale in the pan at this point.)

 Add the wine and cook about two minutes more, until the alcohol smell has disappeared. Set aside.

In a large bowl (into which you will eventually put the cooked spaghetti) put in the egg yolks and the whole egg. Mix them thoroughly with a fork. Add the two cheeses, the parsley, salt and pepper.

>>note: if halving the recipe, which really works, just use one egg yolk and one egg..

Heat 4-5 quarts of cold water to a raging boil, add two tablespoons of salt, drop in the pasta, and stir regularly until it is al dente. Save one-half cup of the pasta liquid. Drain.

Add the cooked pasta to the bowl with the egg mixture. Toss it gently until well mixed, and the strands are thoroughly coated. Add one tablespoon of olive oil to moisten. If still a little dry add some of the reserved pasta liquid. Quickly reheat the pancetta/bacon for a minute to so. Then add the pasta and egg mixture to this heated pancetta pan.  Stir once again. Cover and heat for thirty seconds.

Add a touch of parsley, have some parmesan or pecorino ready on the side, serve immediately and enjoy.

Here, the carbonara with farfalle . . .


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