For many Italian chefs the one thing that makes Italian food so wonderful is its taste and freshness, but also it is the food of people, it is a comfort food that shows love, love for your friends family and life. Italians embrace them all with a passion.
The success of a Pasta alla Carbonara depends on timing, having the eggs beaten and ready and having the grated cheese ready to add to the hot pasta. Have the serving bowl warm and ready to serve the pasta. The Americans tend to add cream which the dish definitely deos not need it takes away the clean taste and makes it cloying.
Pasta alla Carbonara Ingredients
200g spaghetti freshly cooked al dente
2 tablespoon Extra virgin olive oil
60g pancetta or guanciale
3 – 4 large very fresh organic eggs
50 g freshly grated Pecorino Romano
50 g aged Italian Grana Cheese, such as Parmigiano Reggiano
freshly ground black pepper
Mix the beaten egg with grated cheese and ground black pepper. Slice the pancetta to 10 mm thick and cut small rectangular chunks. Slowly fry the pancetta in the extra virgin olive oil in a non stick pan until crispy, do not rush this step, because if you release enough fat with flavour you can omit the olive oil.
Add the spaghetti with some of the cooking water, the object is not to fry the spaghetti just let it absorb the rich flavour of the pancetta. Simmer gently until the water is almost evaporated. Remove the pan from the heat.
Add the egg, cheese and pepper mixture to the pasta and stir quickly the eggs should gently cook but not become scrambled eggs. The eggs will scramble if the mixture is still on the heat and the object is to make them creamy rather than coagulated.
Place in a hot pasta bowl and season with ground black pepper
Italian food is simple elegant and fabulous, it makes the most of the freshest ingredients. Italians don’t ask how much food is they ask how fresh it is. The concept of a weekly shop is alien to them, their fruit and vegetables are bought every day. The fantastic thing about Italian food is the fact that they have no such thing; Italy was a separate conglomeration of states until 1870.
Each area has its own cuisine and that cuisine has been forged Centuries of geographical area and history. For instance the food in the North West bears a closer relationship to mid European food because it was influenced by its neighbour the Austro- Hungarian empire. In the South the flavours of the Mediterranean prevail, the olive oils, the fresh and dried fruit influenced by the Moors, the tomatoes brought from the New World.