I love pasta or any type of noodles; it is my ultimate comfort food. So it was no surprise when I fell in love with this dish many years ago in Rome, it was love at first bite. The best part, it is so simple to make but so delicious. I make this sometimes when I'm home after a long work day and don't want to spend hours cooking. I also find myself making this when I have nothing in the fridge and in between grocery shopping as I usually have eggs, cheese and some type of cured pork product in the fridge. I try to stick to the traditional recipe, but this time I used whole wheat spaghetti instead.
Whole Wheat Spaghetti alla Carbonara (Serves 4)
1 lb of whole wheat spaghetti or any long pasta
6 oz of pancetta - diced (if pancetta is not available, substitute with bacon)
1/2 cup of grated Pecorino Romano
1/2 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano
2 eggs (preferably at room temperature)
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground pepper
1 tspn of chopped parsley
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil (make sure the water taste like sea water to ensure the pasta is seasoned). Cook the pasta in the salted water for about 10 minutes or until al dente, do not overcook the pasta. To prepare the sauce, saute the pancetta with olive oil until it's cooked and the fat is rendered about 5 minutes. In a bowl, whisk the eggs and cheese together and set aside. Once the pasta is done, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water, drain the pasta and add to the pan with the pancetta, stir well. Remove the pasta off the heat then add the egg mixture as the hot pasta would cook the eggs, but be sure to add the eggs off the heat so the eggs don't scramble. Stir the pasta well with the sauce and if you find the sauce is too thick then add the pasta water a little at a time to thin out the sauce and adjust its consistency. Add the ground pepper and parsley and serve immediately.
I love the creaminess of the egg and cheese sauce that coats the pasta. It tastes so velvety and along with the crispiness of the pancetta makes this pasta so luscious. It brings me back to Rome every time I eat this. If you want a taste of Rome, give this Carbonara a try!