I am not a charcoal worker but I do love me a Pasta Carbonara.  According to Wikipedia, the name of this pasta dish is derived from carbanaro, meaning charcoal in Italian. This dish was thought to be a fit and hearty meal for those hard workers.

Can you see me doing that?

Pasta carbonara has become a staple dinner around the Maccha apartment.  It all started one evening in October when MacchaHe decided to try and make it.  He usually Googles for the general recipe and goes at it.  We (uh..he I mean) make pasta often but this was superb to all the rest for some reason.  Who knew the combination of egg, cheese and bacon was oh so satisfying.  From that evening on, we have had the dish about once a week or during lazy days, once every two weeks.  Each time, we find what makes it better from last time.  So here are some tips:

1) We started off with spaghetti, which is what most recipes dictate.  Over time, we have used whatever pasta was in stock, even rigatoni (don’t recommend).  My personal winner is the linguine.  MacchaHe doesn’t necessarily agree with me.  So I sometimes secretly keep our pasta shelf full of linguine. “We’re out of spaghetti?  Oh well, let’s use the linguine!”

2) We couldn’t find Pecorino cheese at our local supermarket the first time so we used Parmesan, the standard substitute.   The following week, Whole Foods came to our rescue and we got the Pecorino.  YUMs.  Moral: don’t substitute, grate lots of Pecorino.  Grate some more and stock up on Pecorino when it’s on sale at WF.

 

No Subsitutes!

3) What is the ingredient that keeps luring us back to this dish on a weekly basis?  The fatty pork of course!  We have tried using standard bacon and thick cut bacon.  Regular bacon is a little wimpy.  Thick cut adds a nice porkiness against the eggy, cheesy pasta.  But what is even better? Pancetta!  I am talking slab pancetta diced into hearty cubes.  It took us six months to try this pancetta and I have no idea why we waited so long.  It’s fat, but meaty fat.  We fight for the last remaining piece, even as we are both on our second helpings (yikes, shouldn’t I be eating less than him if I am half his size?)

Devoured (very) shortly after photo was taken

Add this dish to your dinners, you may never turn back…

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