Photo by Joseph De Leo; styled by Mariya Yufest
Whether they're perched atop steak tartare or whisked into homemade mayo or Caesar dressing, raw eggs have found their way into recipes for centuries. Almost always, raw eggs (and cooked, for the record) serve to affordably enrich a dish (OK, maybe affordability doesn't come into play as much for steak tartare!), and their role in Spaghetti alla Carbonara is no different.
But if you're apprehensive about eating raw eggs, there isn't even room for the cost discussion at the table. Here's the deal: there's no reason to be uneasy; the eggs get cooked. For carbonara, it's all about mis en place, reserved starchy pasta water, and gentle, last-minute cooking. Here's how this dish comes together safely:
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
This traditional recipe from Rome comes directly from our Pecorino Romano importer, Michele Buster. If you can't find pancetta, bacon is a good substitute.
Serves 3 to 4
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
1/2 pound dried spaghetti
1 egg, beaten until foamy
1/2 to 3/4 cup grated Genuine Sini Fulvi Pecorino Romano cheese
Pepper to taste
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Whenever I see pasta, I think Chianti. I grew up with it at our family dinners. Applied here, Chianti would be fine -- the richness of the pancetta and density of the pasta is robust enough to carry a wine like Sangiovese (the grape used in Chianti). But, I prefer a white now. The egg and pancetta match well with the whites of northern Italy. Friulano, Pinot Bianco, or Pinot Grigio with their racy edge and focused texture will offer strong relief from the fat. A white will cool your mouth, too, if you heap on the pepper...
2010 Scarbolo Friulano, Italy
2010 Alois Lageder Pinot Bianco, Alto Adige, Italy
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What fresh spring vegetables would you add to this simple pasta supper? Share your cooking tips and serving suggestions in the comments section below!
Like this post? See the Easy Everyday topic from last week: Raw Fava Bean Crostini.