Carbonara is a fantastic classic dish that could be a challenge: even for chefs. I actually think, it is pretty easy to make, though. You just have to make sure the pasta is not dry and your guests do not choke on it. Also pay attention to the eggs: you don’t want to end up with scrambled eggs instead of a delicious creamy sauce. So good luck! If you succeed, you will really enjoy it. Carbonara has great effect on your mood 🙂
For 2 portions:
1 tbs olive oil
200 g semolina
60 g grated parmesan
1 spring onion
20 g chives
4 slices pancetta or speck (the classic recipe uses guanciale)
salt and pepper
wild oregano for decoration (not necessary)
First, prepare the dough. Mix two eggs, olive oil and semolina. It is important to put in enough salt: it activates gluten in the flour and makes the dough much more elastic. Wrap it in a plastic foil and let it rest for 20 minutes. You don’t have to put it in the fridge (the dough would be more difficult to work with).
Break the remaining egg yolks in a bowl (you can use the whites as you wish, some time ago I made an omelette and served it with the pasta).
When I make carbonara, I like to use so-called parmesan water, which is a great base for sauces that go with pasta. Grate the parmesan, season generously with pepper and let it boil with about 2 dcl water in a pot. Parmesan dissolves very slowly, so you will need about 10-15 minutes. Let the mixture cool down and mix it with eggs and herbs.
Normally, you would use guanciale or pancetta, but this time I used speck (turned out to be a great choice). Slice it thinly and fry it on a bit of oil, until it is crispy. This way, the texture is much better than if you put it in the sauce, I mean, who doesn’t like crispy speck? I know, I do! I even added the fat from the pan to the sauce, but of course, you do not have to do that.
Once the dough is rested, roll it out and pass it through a pasta machine until thin enough (number 3 on the Imperia machine). It is good exercise, too. Then use the tagliatelle extension, when the pasta is done, let it dry out for a while – well dusted with flour. Cook for about 2 minutes in salty water (10 g sea salt for 1 l of water).
Strain the pasta and save some of the water aside. Put the hot tagliatelle in the sauce and mix for about 2 minutes, it thickens nicely and it is time to serve! If needed, you can add more water.
I really love the Marco Pierre White serving style, meaning: a layer of pasta, cheese, pancetta, spring onion/chives and repeat. I used wild oregano for decoration. Enjoy!