This is an Italian classic but I first tasted this dish when I visited the Greek island of Corfu in 1988. The Italian food Caribinieri will insist that this dish NOT contain any cream.
Lucky for the Italians, I can pull off this dish without cream but if you’re the type that likes it in the mix, who am I to stop you?
Carbonara is very popular in Greece and it’s often found on menus alongside other pastas & pizzas on offer.
After spending five weeks in Greece, I craved something a little different and this quick, filling and most satisfying dish always hits the spot.
There are many legends as to the origins of the dish…you pick the one you like and spout it off to your dinner guests…they’ll think you cooked under the tutelage of Mario Batali!
1 handful of dry linguine
2 egg yolks
cracked black pepper to taste
grated Romano cheese
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
1/4 cup diced red onion
1/4 cup of diced bacon, pancetta or guanciale
splash of dry white wine
chopped fresh parsley
- Get a pot of water to boil and then add a generous amount of salt and cook your pasta to just under al dente (6-7 minutes).
- In a large skillet, add your bacon and some water and place over high heat. The water will boil down to nothing and then your bacon will render better and crisp up nicely. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, remove most of the remaining fat (save a Tbsp.) and reserve.
- Allow your skillet to cool down a bit and add your diced onions and garlic (add a bit of olive oil if the skillet has too little fat) over medium heat and stir frequently for 1-2 minutes.
- Add a splash of white wine and deglaze the pan and take off the heat (you may remove the garlic cloves now, if you wish).
- In a small bowl, whisk your egg yolks, black pepper and Romano cheese and reserve.
- When your pasta is ready, strain while remembering to reserve some pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet (off the heat) along with some pasta water and your egg yolk mixture.
- At this point the residual heat of the hot pasta and pasta water should cook and bind your mixture into a thick & creamy sauce.
- Add your chopped parsley and adjust seasoning with salt (rarely needed) and cracked black pepper to taste. Grate some additional Romano cheese on top if desired.
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