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Carbonara e Pepe

April 7, 2013

This winter I went to Rome with several girlfriends, where we explored the sites all day with breaks for delicious espresso and pasta. One of the last nights was S’s birthday. We decides to go back to our most favorite of restaurants: Da Sergio. It is in a small alley off of the Campo de Fiori and conveniently close to our holiday apartment.  I ordered cacio e pepe, which is pasta tossed with cheese, butter and a liberal amount of fresh pepper. S ordered the carbonara – a creamy delight of egg, cheese and crispy pancetta. That night we discovered that those two dishes must be secret lovers, because they were divine when mixed together! Below is my attempt to recreate what we experienced in Rome. It is rich and amazing…the perfect complement to a special occasion.

You will need:

  • 1 lb pasta (I used fresh bucatini from DC’s Eastern Market to stay true to Roman tradition)
  • 1/2 lb thick cut pancetta, chopped
  • 3 T unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs
  • 3/4 c Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • 2/4 c Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 2 t fresh ground pepper

Then you will…

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta according to directions. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta’s cooking water and drain.
  2. In a medium saucepan, brown the pancetta over medium heat. Do not drain drippings! Remove from heat and add the butter.
  3. Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs with the cheeses and pepper in a medium bowl.
  4. Add the cooking water to the pancetta and butter. Return to heat and bring to bubble.
  5. Toss the pancetta mixture with cooked pasta. Remove from heat.
  6. Gradually stir in the egg mixture. Be sure to stir constantly to avoid scrambling your eggs from the heat of the pasta and pancetta mixture. This will make a very velvety sauce.
  7. Serve and celebrate!

20130324 Carbonara Pepe

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