Ejii-chan is a big pasta fan; admittedly, these are the kinds of dishes that she cooks best. Being a fool who spends downtime during duty hours watching Vincenzo’s Kitchen and other Italian cooking channels on YouTube, I thought about trying out a dish that definitely won’t piss them Italians off. This dish is analogous to the Pinoy Adobo. Fuck it up, and the whole Filipino cyber community will gang up against you. Fuck Carbonara up, and you’ll forever be a stupido.
One lovely afternoon, we thought it would be great to stop by a nearby deli to pick up some ingredients.
4 eggs (3 yolks + 1 whole)
150g finely grated Pecorino Romano
150g sliced Guanciale
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Starchy pasta water
For those seeking good quality pasta, paler yellow is the optimal choice! But if you happen to encounter pasta that is overly yellow in hue, exercise caution and avoid direct contact with your skin. Our selected pasta for this dish is spaghettoni–a slightly thicker variation of spaghetti–perfect for a hearty meal. A special shoutout to Ejii-chan for imparting her culinary expertise to this.
To cook the pasta, follow the instructions on the package. If you are using spaghettoni, 11 minutes should be enough to achieve an al dente texture. Add some salt and pepper to the water, but avoid using too much, as we will add more flavour to the dish later with the Guanciale and cheese.
“Don’t use bacon. Don’t use pancetta. They’re for poor people. If you can’t find guanciale, then get your sh*t together and move to better neighbourhood.”Uncle Roger
Slice the guanciale into strips.
Grate the pecorino finely and mix it with the egg yolks. Whisk until the mixture has a pasty consistency.
Gently heating the guanciale will cause the flavorful fat to melt and infuse the dish with its rich, savory essence. Taking the time to render the fat from the guanciale is crucial in creating a dish that is bursting with irresistible meaty flavor.
Once you have boiled the pasta, be sure to reserve some of the starchy water. This water is essential for creating a more cohesive sauce and pasta mixture, as it acts as a binding agent. Furthermore, the starchy water will enhance the overall taste of the dish, thanks to the salt and pepper seasoning that was added during the boiling process. So, don’t forget to set aside some of that starchy water!
Gently mix all the ingredients together in a pan, making sure to turn off the heat before the eggs cook and become scrambled. The final result should be a luscious and velvety texture with a subtle smoky flavor and a hint of peppery spice.
Top with more finely grated pecorino and freshly ground black pepper.
Enjoy your Carbonara! However, stick to the traditional recipe that excludes cream or milk. If you deviate from the original recipe, you might risk an Italian’s wrathful punch landing on your face. So, beware.