I feel a bit like a traitor in saying “no red sauce for me” as spaghetti using the Garofalo red sauce is a wonderful version of marinara, and actually the first post I did for this blog. But, when a girl just wants some plain spaghetti, I try to follow the classic version of Spaghetti Alla Carbonara, as I did last night. Although I have had pasta Alla Carbonara many times before I never really knew what “carbonara” meant in Italian – some say it is a “hearty meal for the charcoal workers” and apparently it dates back to the middle ages. That was a surprise!
Most often it is comprised of pasta with eggs, cream, parmesan cheese, and bacon. But you are not limited to these basics, as you will find many other variations available that include everything from mushrooms; peas; spinach, a coddled egg on top; shrimp, mussels, salmon, and most surprising to me – sardines!
My pasta was quick to make (another reason I like this recipe) and paired with a glass of Syrah I settled down to catch-up on recent episodes of RHONY (Real Housewives of New York – and yes I do watch one or two reality shows). Halfway through the show I realized, these women from New York are really messed up! Sipping wine and eating pasta made me realize that while some days might seem crazy or even “out of control”, it’s nothing compared to what these women put themselves through and all for the love of money and being on TV. Maybe that’s why so many people (roughly 700 million) watch reality shows, as it makes your own life seem really great and……yes quite normal! Gonna have to watch Jeff Lewis on Flipping Out – might need to make a Dump Cake to keep up with this bad boy!
1 lb linguine
2 small cans of sliced black olives
6 slices of pancetta – diced
6 garlic cloves – chopped
¼ cup Italian parsley – chopped
4 Tbl Olive Oil
2 anchovy filets – finely chopped
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
1/4 cup Pecorino Reggiano cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste
- In pot of boiling water add 1 Tbl of olive oil, dash of salt and package of linguine (break the linguine in half as you add to the pot). The olive oil will keep the pasta from boiling over or creating a foam on top. Cook till al dente and drain in colander. Set aside.
- In a deep frypan cook the chopped pancetta until crisp and drain on paper towels.
- Add the chopped onion and garlic to the pancetta fat and cook until translucent – the garlic should be lightly browned but not burnt – when it burns garlic tastes bitter.
- Add your pasta back into the fry pan, add the white wine, anchovy filets, and parsley and mix well. If you want to add salt here is where I would do it. I don’t add salt because both the pancetta and the anchovy filets are salty enough for me – so don’t think it really needs it.
- Beat the two eggs till they are blended and add the heavy cream to them – mix well. Turn the heat down to medium low and slowly add in the egg/cream mixture to the pasta – if the temperature is too high, you will end up with linguine and scrambled eggs (which is not a necessarily a bad thing – it still tastes good, just doesn’t have a great look).
- Blend the pasta and bring it back up in temperature slowly – don’t cook those eggs.
- Add the black olives and pancetta on top with a light sprinkle of 1 Tbl parsley. Add the Pecorino Reggiano cheese on top and lightly toss the works.
You are ready to eat – Mangiare, Mangiare!
Serves: 6-8 people