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birthday spaghetti alla carbonara

September 29, 2011

This is going to be a quick post so I can get back to spending K’s birthday with him. It’s also going to be a preachy post because I feel quite strongly about the proper way to make this dish.

First rule of thumb – contrary to popular belief, there is no heavy cream in Spaghetti alla Carbonara (I will call it SAC, henceforth). You can be quite certain something’s gone wrong if you order SAC in a restaurant and it comes out drowning in alfredo sauce.  The classic ingredients are just raw egg and cheese which are thrown into the hot pasta immediately after cooking.  The heat of the pasta helps cook the egg without curdling, forming that delightfully rich sauce.  If you absolutely insist on using cream….it better be just a splash or I’ll be mad.

Rule #2. If your former recipe for SAC (I say former because I hope you’ll adopt this one instead) calls for a frillion different ingredients…it’s not a proper SAC recipe. In my opinion, the best pasta dishes of Rome are the simplest – maybe 6 ingredients. The key is to ensure those few ingredients are of exceptional quality.

Last Christmas, Moshi (one of my fabulous mothers-in-law) surprised me with the Silver Spoon cookbook [Phaidon]. I had expressed interest in it because I heard a rumor that it has been the best selling cookbook in Italy for many years. (look that up and maybe someone can provide the right figure). Anyway, they finally released it in English for the first time a couple years ago and I was rather happy to be privy to that information.  Moshi really made my day with that gift.  The cookbook is now obviously my favorite for Italian because most of the pasta dishes are just as I described – incredibly simple with just a handful of ingredients.

That said, I leave you with a picture of the recipe as it appears in my book (click the photo to enlarge) Otherwise…hope you enjoy this dish as much as we do.   Now back to my hubby and my full glass of vino….Buona Notte!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Margo permalink
    September 29, 2011 1:27 am

    Oooooh! I love your very appealing dishes you have been making. Can I order take out?

    • netrez permalink*
      September 29, 2011 11:36 am

      Thanks Margo – too bad we don’t live closer…we could have dinner parties with all of your home grown specialties!

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