Purists demand that carbonara contains only 5 ingredients – Pasta, cured pork cheek, Parmesan, eggs & black pepper.
Our version contains a few extra ingredients. While non-traditional, the cream makes the sauce a little more forgiving, and lowers the chances of scrambling the eggs. Still, timing is everything. Try to time the cooking of the pasta to coincide with the pancetta mix being ready – this way everything is still hot, and should be the perfect temperature to cook the eggs.
1 tablespoon olive oil
90g Flat pancetta
1 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper (plus extra to serve)
1 clove of garlic, peeled and chopped
½ brown onion, finely diced
4 egg yolks
¼ cup of white wine
3 Tablespoons of cream
1 cup finely grated Parmesan (plus extra to serve)
Salt to season
400g Martelli Spaghetti
Firstly, place a large pot of salted water on the stove and bring to the boil.
Slice the pancetta into fine ‘match stick' type shapes. Place a large frying pan over a moderate heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the pancetta. Cook slowly, until the pancetta releases its fat and starts to brown (around 10 minutes).
Add the shallots, garlic & cracked pepper. Reduce the heat to low and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion has softened.
Add the white wine to the pan. Reduce until it has all but evaporated, then remove from the heat.
Meanwhile whisk the cream and egg yolks together in a large bowl. Add the grated Parmesan and stir to combine.
Once the salted water has boiled, cook the linguine until al dente (still slightly firm).
Drain the pasta well, and add it to the frying pan with the cooked pancetta, using tongs to mix it, coating it well with the oils.
Pour the contents of the pan into the bowl along with the egg yolk mixture, mixing it quickly to coat the pasta well – the residual heat in the pasta will cook the egg yolks to create a rich sauce.
Check the seasoning, add an additional pinch of salt if required.
Transfer to warmed serving bowls, and top with additional cracked pepper, and Parmesan if desired.
IMAGE CREDIT: DARIO CECCHINI