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La Carbonara

La Ricetta del Giorno - Today's Recipe: Salsa Carbonara (Carbonara Sauce)

The Carbonara sauce calls for bucatini and pancetta (Italian bacon), but after making "pizza rustica" (meat pie) for Easter, I was left with so much prosciutto that using the leftover to prepare Carbonara sauce over spaghetti for lunch today seemed a great idea. (I didn't have bucatini. So what?)

A little history first...

The Carbonara sauce is typical of the Roman cuisine. It is believed that Romans prepared this "secret" pasta carbonara dish during WWII for American soldiers fighting to save the city from the Nazi and the so-called "Mussolini's Camicie Nere" (Black-Shirts-Fascists) in the mid forties. Romans honored them with this culinary creation, inspired by their country's home made bacon and eggs.

Another belief is that the sauce was named after the1800s Carbonara Secret Society whose members painted themselves to look like charcoal workers so that they wouldn't be recognized in their covert, secret activities that led to the unification of Italy (April 21, 1861) after Giuseppe Garibaldi's fight, which started with the "Spedizione dei Mille" in Sicily. April 25 is Liberation Day, another national holiday in Italy. It marks the end of WWII with the fall of Mussolini and the Nazi occupation of Italy in 1945 and the end of the monarchy of the House of Savoy. A year later Italians finally walked to the poll and voted for the beginning of a new, free world with the birth of the "Repubblica italiana" (Italian Republic). It was June 2nd, 1946.

Here are the steps to make the Carbonara, which is no longer secret:

Ingredienti / Ingredients

Pancetta tagliata finemente o a dadini - Italian bacon sliced thinly or in cubes (the pancetta is tastier and has more flavor than the American bacon).

La pancetta può essere sostituita con il prosciutto - Prosciutto can be substituted with the pancetta

Uova sbattute– eggs batter (two or three eggs up to one pound of pasta).

Pecorino romano grattugiato – Grated sheep milk cheese.

Bucatini, perciatelli or spaghetti pasta – Perciatelli are a bit larger then the bucatini or spaghetti

Niente sale! No salt!

Preparazione / Preparation

Bollire una pentola d'acqua per la pasta - Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

Cuocere la pasta per nove, dieci minuti (9-10 minuti) - Cook the pasta for nine, ten minutes.

Mentre la pasta cuoce, soffriggere la pancetta (o il prosciutto) a fuoco lento in una padella con un cucchiaio di olio d'oliva fino a quando diventa croccante - While the pasta is being cooked, sauté the pancetta (or prosciutto) in a pan on low heat adding a spoon of olive oil until crunchy.

Scolare la pasta e versarla in una zuppiera - Drain the pasta and place it in a bowl.

Aggiungere la pancetta (o il prosciutto), il pepe, il pecorino e un uovo (o due uova) e mescolare il tutto - Add the golden pancetta (or the prosciutto), the black pepper, the pecorino and one (or two eggs) and toss the pasta.

Servire immediatamente! - Serve immediately!

Buon Appetito! Enjoy!

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