Friday, February 15, 2013

Spicy Spaghetti Carbonara

Guys. I have a new obsession. No, I'm not still talking about the chocolate fair (though I do love it). I'm actually obsessed with one of my classes. Wait... what?! Before you get too confused, let me explain. 
The class is called "Italian Food and Culture: Pairing Food and Wine".
It may be one of the best things that's ever happened to me. Unfortunately, it's only once a week, and no, I don't get credit for it, but I swear I look forward to it every. single. day.
We start class by learning about the wine we'll be drinking and the food we'll be preparing, then we decide which course we want to help cook, and finally, we sit down and eat our 3-4 course meal together, each course featuring a new wine (did I mention I love this class?!) while talking about what we're tasting, how the wine adds to the dish, etc. 
Is there a job where I can take this class every day for the rest of my life?!
This week, our menu consisted of three courses:
 1. Spicy Spaghetti Carbonara
2. Pollo alla Cacciatora (Chicken Cacciatore)
3. Torta di Pinoli (Pine Nut Cake)

One of the first things I learned, though not surprising, is that true Italian Carbonara doesn't have any cream in it, but Americans tend to always add it. With that being said, go ahead and make yourself some real spaghetti carbonara for your next dinner!
I realize this picture isn't all that glamorous or colorful, but I promise you, this carbonara is sure to impress!
Ingredients (Serves 4)
450 gr. spaghetti
4 eggs
120 grams pancetta, diced
3 garlic cloves, peeled, whole
1/4 cup white wine
1 dried chili pepper
120 gr. grated pecorino Romano
extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper

1. Lightly beat the eggs in a bowl and add the crushed chili pepper and pecorino cheese. Season with salt and pepper, then set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then add the whole garlic cloves and saute until golden. Be careful not to burn them! Remove from heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook until it begins to brown. Add the wine and bring it to a boil. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring and scraping the bottom. Remove from the heat and set aside.
3. In the meantime, cook the pasta until it's al-dente. Drain and add it to the skillet with the pancetta. Saute for a minute. 
4. This is the part that makes the pasta creamy, without cream! Add the beaten eggs to the skillet with the pasta and pancetta, turn off the heat and blend well until the eggs set, but be careful to not cook the eggs. If they're cooked, it won't be creamy!
Feel free to top with a little pecorino cheese, but keep in mind, it's already in the pasta! You really don't need a lot, if any!

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