Comfort food means easy to cook, simple recipes, delicious, and feel full with satisfaction. Carbonara is one of my favorite Italian cuisines. Italian style of "dining" is more than merely eating. It means to enjoy the time spending with the family, savor each course of the food, and to relax after a busy day. The essence of Italian cooking is simplicity, uses the freshest seasonal ingredients, and the cooking techniques are to enhance the natural flavor of the food.
Put a saucepan of water on to boil. Add some salt to the boiling water. Add the pasta (spaghetti or tagliatelle) to the boiling water until just tender yet firm (the Italian term is al dente to be firm to the bite). Follow the instruction from package bag of the pasta to indicate the cooking time which is mostly 8 to 10 minutes.
While the pasta is cooking, fry the pancetta with the garlic. Drop the olive oil (not all kinds of olive oil can use for frying, use the appropriate type) into the frying pan to fry the pancetta. Leave these to cook on a medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring often, until the pancetta is golden and crisp.
Preparing the sauce by mixing most of the parmesan cheese with the eggs in a mixing bowl. Stir well the mixing cheese and eggs to prevent lumps. Some people would like to add the whipping cream to enhance the “creamy” of the sauce. I prefer not to add the whipping cream.
When the pasta is ready, put the drained pasta in the frying pan (switch off the heat) with the pancetta and toss for 2 minutes to coat with the pancetta oil.
Remove the pan from the heat. Pouring the sauce (eggs and cheese mixture) into the hot pasta. The heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble.
Add black pepper and serve with some fresh green basil.
Don’t overcook the spaghetti in the boiling water (“just cooked” to keep the firm texture of the spaghetti).
Pancetta and bacon are similar. You can use bacon instead of pancetta. Some Italian would like to use guanciale (pork cheek) for better taste.
Cook the pancetta a little bit longer on medium heat until it is crisp. That's why its name has the term "carbon" inside.
Use more egg yolk to mix with the parmesan cheese for making the sauce.
Prevent the sauce to scramble when mixing the sauce with the spaghetti.
Extra virgin olive oil is for steaming and boiling purpose only (heating level is 100~150 degrees Celsius). Pure olive oil is for grilling and frying purpose (heating level is more than 180 degrees Celsius).
Special Children Version
Prepare the big tomatoes. Make it hallows inside.
Use the pasta types of "shells" or "acini di pepe" or "orzo" instead of spaghetti.
Follow the same cooking steps of the above and serve the carbonara into the hallow tomatoes.
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