FOOD + DRINK, RECIPES + menus | April 2, 2008

Bucatini or Spaghetti Alla Carbonara for Supper

Bucatini or Spaghetti Alla Carbonara : a la di stasio

Today, I proposed a classic dish for supper: Bucatini or Spaghetti Alla Carbonara. My favorite Pasta All Carbonara recipe is one inspired by the Remo Contini of Antica Trattoria da Carlone, a restaurant in Rome, Italy.

My recipe comes from a fabulous Italian cooking book that is only available in French. Filled with authentic Italian recipes, Pasta et cetera à la di Stasio was probably under all the Christmas trees across Quebec last year. This recipe reconciled me with Pasta All Carbonara. I started avoiding over the last decade pasta all carbonara because of the profusion of cheap cream recipes in restaurants.

Selecting the pasta

For the pasta, the large surface of bucatini gives more adherence to the sauce. The problem with bucatini is that it is harder to eat; therefore not elegant. Serving bucatini is not a good idea if you are having friends over. Serve spaghetti instead with a bottle of red Italian wine. Yes, try pairing a no-cream Pasta All Carbonara with red wine; you will see it is a delightful match.

My favorite Spaghetti Alla Carbonara Recipe

I translate the recipe with my adaptations from the original A la di Stasio’s recipe.

Ingredients for 2 portions:

  • 8 oz (225 g) of spaghetti / bucatini
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of 1-inch block of pancetta that you will cut in 1/2 inch cubes – if you have no choice, thin sliced pancetta will do
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) of freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano – the real thing
  • Lots of freshly ground pepper – roughly grounded if you can eat them
  • A couple of splashes of olive oil
  • Cooking water from the pasta

Step by step instructions:

  1. Cook your pasta in salted boiling water.
  2. During that time, put the olive oil on a hot large, frying pan (avoid the non stick pan here). Cook the pancetta at medium-high a few minutes, until golden. You may have to reduce the heat to medium, if you used the thinner pancetta.
  3. Put the eggs and Parmesan in a large service bowl. Mix with a fork. Add the pepper.
  4. Remember to reserve a cup of cooking water before your drain the pasta, just in case (see step 7).
  5. Put the pasta over the pancetta in the pan. Mix them well.
  6. Now it is time to work quickly. Put half of the pasta in the serving bowl. Toss the egg/parmesan mixture over the pasta to coat all the pasta. Then add the rest and toss again with your fork. It is possible that it takes a few practice runs before you achieve a perfect smooth texture. Therefore, I suggest you do not serve it the first time you prepare this recipe.
  7. If it happens that the sauce seems too thick, you can drop a little of the reserve pasta water until you get the right consistency. I rarely need to do it.
  8. Sprinkle Parmesan before serving. Enjoy!

Cream version

If you prefer a cream recipe, I find a Bucatini Alla Carbonara recipe online that seems excellent. I dug this creamy recipe on David Seah blog. His blog has nothing to do with cooking. David writes about productivity and other methods of empowering yourself. The recipe was made by his sister.

Sourcing:
Buy online: Pasta et cetera à la di Stasio by Josée di Stasio
Cooking demonstration photos: Pasta Carbonara from A la di Stasio at Tele-Quebec
Top photo credit: Bucatini All Carbonara by David Seah

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4 Responses to “Bucatini or Spaghetti Alla Carbonara for Supper”

  1. Hi! I write you from Italy. The recipe is really perfect, a little trick: don’t use a service bowl to mix the eggs but put all the pasta in the frying pan with pancetta ,eggs and parmisan and let it cook for few minute.

    If you likeonions, you could add some slice of onion with the oil before add the pancetta.
    Bye, I like your blog

  2. 2 At Home with Kim Vallee said:

    Valentina: Your recipe tips sound great. I will try your way the next I cook my Spaghetti Alla Carbonara.

  3. You didn’t say what to do with the cup of cooking/pasta water…????

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