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Classic Carbonara

Classic Carbonara

Classic Carbonara

Carbonara is a classic Italian pasta dish known for its creamy texture, rich flavor, and simple ingredients. This dish combines eggs, cheese, pancetta, and pepper to create a comforting and delicious meal that's quick and easy to prepare.

Ingredients

  • 12 oz (340g) spaghetti
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 8 oz (225g) pancetta, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (optional)

Instructions

Step 1: Prepare the Pasta

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  If you have the optional Arteflame Grill Grate Riser, use the riser and bring the water to a boil directly on the center grill grate.
  2. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions until al dente.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water, then drain the pasta.

Step 2: Cook the Pancetta

  1. While the pasta cooks, cook the diced pancetta on the flat griddle cooktop until crispy, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Add the minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  3. Remove when done and set aside.

Step 3: Make the Sauce

  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and grated Pecorino Romano cheese until well combined.
  2. Gradually add a bit of the reserved pasta water to the egg mixture, whisking constantly to temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling.

Step 4: Combine Pasta and Sauce

  1. Add the drained spaghetti to the flat cooktop with the pancetta and garlic, tossing to combine.  Grilling the spaghetti this way will give it a slight delicious crunchiness.
  2. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the pasta, tossing quickly to coat the spaghetti evenly.  This can be done in a serving bowl as well.
  3. If needed, add more reserved pasta water, a little at a time, until the sauce reaches your desired consistency.

Step 5: Season and Serve

  1. Season generously with freshly ground black pepper.
  2. Taste and add salt if necessary.
  3. Serve immediately, garnished with chopped fresh parsley if desired.

Tips

  • Cheese Selection: While Pecorino Romano is traditional, you can also use Parmesan or a mix of both for a different flavor profile.
  • Pasta Water: The starchy pasta water is key to achieving a smooth and creamy sauce, so don’t forget to reserve it.
  • Tempering the Eggs: Adding a little hot pasta water to the egg mixture helps prevent scrambling when you combine it with the hot pasta.
  • Timing: Serve the carbonara immediately to enjoy the sauce at its creamiest and best.

Conclusion

Classic Carbonara is a beloved Italian dish that’s perfect for any occasion. Its rich, creamy sauce and savory pancetta make it a comforting and delicious meal that's easy to prepare with just a few simple ingredients.

Variations

  1. Vegetarian Carbonara: Substitute the pancetta with sautéed mushrooms or roasted vegetables for a vegetarian twist.
  2. Chicken Carbonara: Add cooked, diced chicken breast for extra protein and flavor.
  3. Seafood Carbonara: Incorporate cooked shrimp or scallops for a luxurious seafood version.
  4. Spicy Carbonara: Add a pinch of red pepper flakes to the pancetta while cooking for a bit of heat.
  5. Green Carbonara: Stir in fresh spinach or peas for added color and nutrients.

Pairings

  • Garlic bread or a simple green salad
  • A glass of crisp white wine like Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • Tiramisu or panna cotta for dessert

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