An overabundance of yard eggs (not mine; I’m still sadly chicken-free) inspired me to make a batch of fresh pasta. Now, prior to this, I’d made fresh pasta a grand total of ONE time (read about it here). But I still have many kilos of Caputo “00” flour staring me in the face, along with those eggs, so I decided to give it a shot.
Whaddaya know? The second time was certainly a charm. On the first go-round, I was burdened with pasta-making theory culled from a variety of cookbooks. This time, I just dumped two eggs into my stand mixer along with 1-3/4 cup Caputo 00 flour, and I let the mixer knead it until it looked cohesive (about 7-10 minutes; I really wasn’t watching the clock). After giving the dough a few turns by hand, I let it rest for 30 minutes to relax the gluten. The rested dough was divided into six, then I rolled the pasta to thickness #6 with my KitchenAid pasta roller. A quick swap of accessories, and I cut the flour-dusted sheets into a pile of spaghetti (and a little fettucini).
With impeccable timing, my better half showed up and suggested that the spaghetti become carbonara. The stars were aligned in his favor, as I had an abundance of good eggs, a chunk of guanciale, and plenty of Pecorino, Parmesan, and black pepper. No, I don’t use cream or butter in my carbonara: fresh eggs and good cheese make the dish far rich enough without it. Even if you don’t have fresh pasta, this carbonara is a treat. It is adapted from David Downie’s Spaghetti alla Carbonara recipe in Cooking the Roman Way; I have adjusted the egg and cheese ratios to my personal taste.
- 2-4 quarts water
- 1/3 cup of finely diced guanciale (pancetta or even ordinary bacon will do in a pinch)
- 2 whole eggs and 1 egg yolk
- 1/4 cup finely grated quality Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (reserve 2 T for garnish)
- 1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese (reserve 2 T for garnish)
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 8 oz fresh spaghetti (or dried, if that’s what you have)