Spaghetti carbonara is a simple Roman pasta with a sauce made creamy by combining egg yolks and hard cheese – it doesn’t contain cream, despite the profusion of recipes using it. The origin of the name is a bit more of a mystery, ‘carbone’ is Italian for coal, and it’s been suggested that this was a favourite snack of charcoal sellers, alternatively that the flecks of black pepper through the sauce look like coal dust. The guanciale (cured pork cheek) that’s traditionally used can be hard to find, so substitute pancetta (cured pork belly) if necessary. It’s a super simple dish, the only trick is to work quickly once the pasta is cooked, it has to be tossed with the egg mixture while it’s still very hot, so the residual heat of the pasta cooks the egg and melts the cheese to make the deliciously creamy sauce. Pour a glass of Curly Flat Pinot Noir and dig in. Try my recipe for vegetarian Zucchini Carbonara and see the video below to discover the secret ingredient in another classic pasta sauce.
Serves 6 as a starter
Share page on: