da Vincenzo E. Voci e Famiglia..
rivisto da Cuochi Victoria e Massimo Zaina
· 8 oz. Italian Pancetta, diced (4-6 oz. diced Prosciutto, optional)
· Small amount extra-virgin olive oil 1-3 tblsp.
· 1 ½ lb. Fresh Linguini or Spaghetti (serves about 6).. or dried Bucatini (serves about 8)
· 3 Tbsp. sea salt for the pasta water.
· 6 jumbo egg yolks and 3 egg whites at room temp (important)
· 1¼ cups freshly-grated Pecorino Romano cheese
· Freshly-cracked black pepper
· 1 cup reserved pasta water
· Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a tall stock pot. Add the salt after it is boiling.
· Place the diced pancetta in a large sauté pan over medium heat and cook until its fat is released and the edges are golden brown and crispy; only about 3 minutes, do not overcook. You want to see it moist with fat sizzling in the pan. Do not tell your Cardiologist about this.
· You may need the olive oil to sauté the pancetta properly. You do not want it dry and sticky.
· Set the pan with pancetta with its fat and olive oil aside. Keep it warm.
· Place the egg yokes into a small bowl and add the freshly grated cheese with a generous grinding of fresh black pepper. Gently whisk until the mixture is smooth.
· Add the pasta to the salted boiling water and cook, stirring intermittently, until just 'al dente'. DO NOT OVER COOK. If you do, it will break up when mixing it with the sauce..and no Italian will eat it
· Drain the pasta, but reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
· Place the sauté pan with the pancetta over low - medium heat to heat it back up. Only heat up. Do not overcook. You may elect to add about 4-6 ozs of diced Prosciutto while heating up. Cooking the Prosciutto will make it too salty though, just warm it.
· A little Prosciutto will make this recipe more Voci Carbonara than Classic Carbonara, but it is delizioso? Actually the old “Classic” Carbonara is Spaghetti Carbonara with Guanciale fat not pancetta, actually.
· Then remove the pancetta pan from the heat and add the pasta to the pan. Toss very quickly with wooden spoons to mix the pancetta evenly around the pasta. Time is of the essence here. We do not want the pasta to cool down at all. Remember: the hot pasta must “cook” the egg yolk and melt the cheese in the next step.
· Have your guests seated and ready to eat. You must serve and eat this immediately.
· Add the egg mixture. Toss quickly with spoons or forks to quickly mix well. This must take less than a minute. You will see the egg yolk mixture thicken a little and become creamy as it is evenly coating the pasta and partially “cooking”. Place over a warm burner, if necessary to keep the pasta hot. You do not want runny raw egg yolk. You do not want scrambled egg texture from overcooking, either…you want your sauce creamy…..just right !!
· Add a little bit of the heated pasta water, about ¼ cup of water, if the sauce is too dry and sticky rather than creamy and silky.
· Add freshly cracked black pepper and toss for just a few more seconds.
· Transfer to individual heated bowls or plates and serve immediately. You may top with some reserved pancetta/prosciutto and of course more grated cheese.
· Your favorite Italian vino rosso is a must with this. Perhaps a wonderful Barolo or Brunello, or even a good Chianti Classico
· Buon Appetito