Wednesday, June 20, 2012

June: North to South Italian Sauces

From Northern Italy:  Pasta Carbonara.  I call this Italian Mac n Cheese
Ingredients: clockwise from top left: Heavy cream, pepper, parmesan cheese, salt, eggs, pasta, hot link sausage (traditionally pancetta is used, but bacon or sausage can be used, especially when that's what you have:-)

Add 10 grams of salt (about 1 1/2 tsp) to 1000mL of water per 100 grams of pasta.   For this recipe, we're using 300 grams of pasta, so multiply everything by 3.  Bring to a boil.

Add the pasta to boiling salted water and cook just until the pasta is tender all the way through.  Drain immediately, but don't rinse.
While the pasta cooks:
Dice the meat.

Add about 3 Tbs. EVOO to a skillet set on medium heat.

Fry the meat until it's crispy. Do not drain the excess oil and meat fat from the pan. Set aside.

Use 1 egg per 100 grams of pasta.  Add an additional egg yolk for extra creaminess.  For this recipe, that's three whole eggs plus one egg yolk.

Add 1/4 cup cream to eggs and whisk together.

Make sure to beat the eggs and cream thoroughly.

Add freshly ground pepper.

Add 1/2 cup parmesan cheese to the egg/cream mixture and stir. Set aside.

 Return the drained pasta to the pot.

Pour the egg/cream/cheese mixture over the hot pasta.

The egg/cream mixture will be runny when you first add it to the hot pasta.

Gently stir the pasta over low heat until the egg/cream mixture thickens.

Add the crispy meat and drippings to the pasta.

Gently stir in the meat. Taste and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.

Serve Pasta Carbonara in a bowl with some chopped parsley. Eat immediately!