A Mock Carbonara Sauce

The classic Spaghetti alla Carbonara suace enjoyed in Rome is quite simple: Spaghetti, Eggs, Guanciale (or pancetta in a pinch), salt and pepper, and that’s it. Very good, but this doesn’t mean people don’t feel the need to jazz it up, and while purists shudder that the cream some recipes also call for, people also add other things. In this case scallions, and the pasta is different too: Penne instead of spaghetti.

  • 12 ounces (300 g) smooth-sided penne
  • 8 ounces (200 g) smoked pancetta (thick cut bacon will work well as a substitute), minced
  • A shallot, minced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons extravirgin olive oil
  • 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Set pasta water to boil; when it does salt it and add the pasta. Heat the olive oil in a large high-sided skillet, add the minced pancetta and shallot, and cook, stirring, over a gentle flame, until the pancetta has browned. Combine the cream and egg yolks in a bowl and lightly beat them.

Taste the pasta; when it’s just shy of being al dente drain it and transfer it to the pancetta pot before it has completely stopped dripping. Turn the heat  to high and cook, stirring; after a few seconds stir in the beaten yolk mixture and cook for 30 seconds more; the heat of the pasta will cook the egg. Give it a goodly grating of pepper and serve at once.

A wine? White, and a Frascati from the Castelli Romani would be perfect.

Yiled: 4 servings of penne with mock Carbonara Sauce


Tags: , , , ,

Categories: Meat Sauces For Pasta

Author:Cosa Bolle in Pentola

Italy boasts an astonishing number of varietals, denominations, and wines, and tremendous changes are sweeping the land. New wines are being created, new DOCs are being introduced, and the existing denominations are overhauling their regulations both to reflect the practices adopted by their member wineries and to favor improvements in quality. Even the most staid and stolid region can flower seemingly overnight, emerging with exciting new wines and wineries that require rewriting the enological maps and rethinking one's positions. And, of course, recipes too, because cuisine and wine are closely intertwined and it's difficult to imagine one without the other.


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