Thursday, June 12, 2014

Creamless Carbonara

I watched a video recently, and it is said that real carbonara, has no cream in the recipe. I was a little stumped at first, as all the carbonara dishes I've come across all had cream in them. You mean it was all a lie?

So what's this about creamless carbonara? According to this video by Antonio Carluccio, the carbonara sauce is only made up of eggs and cheese. Sounds simple enough, the trick is to not overcook the sauce and end up having scrambled eggs with your pasta.

I attempted to make this dish, and it was really quite easy. The only trick was really to make sure you don't start cooking scramble eggs hahaha! I kept tossing the pasta in the sauce to ensure the paste was evenly coated, and also making sure I did the tossing away from the flames, letting the heat from the pasta cook the sauce on its own. Yummilicious!

Pasta for two
Some pancetta or bacon (cut into strips) - I used bacon, cos it was in the fridge
2tbps extra virgin olive oil
2-3 eggs (some say if you want it super rich, only use the yolk. Some say 2 egg yolks and 1 egg white. I used the 3 whole eggs to serve two pax in my first attempt)
50g Parmesan cheese (or aged pecorino) freshly grated
Ground black pepper

Cook the pasta according to the instructions. As the pasta is cooking, crack the eggs into a bowl, add the cheese and ground black pepper, and lightly beat it. You don't need to add salt at this point because you will get the saltiness from the bacon/pancetta later.

In a pan, heat the oil and add the bacon/pancetta, cooking them until crispy (you will see more oil oozing out from the meat). If you feel there's too much oil, just use a paper towel to absorb some of the oil off. I'll leave the oil there because it's delicious. When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss the pasta into the pan, mixing it well with the oil and bacon/pancetta. At this point, turn off the flames, and add the egg mixture. The heat from the pasta will slowly cook the egg mixture, keep tossing it until the pasta is evenly coated. If you're afraid of eating raw eggs, put the pan back on very low heat, and keep stirring, making sure not to scramble the eggs. Serve with some grated Parmesan and parsley flakes.