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Italian recipe of the week: The perfect spaghetti carbonara
It has just three ingredients, but a lot of bite: artisan pasta maker Silvana Lanzetta shares her recipe for the perfect carbonara sauce.
Published: 19 February 2021 11:08 CET
An authentic carbonara sauce has only three ingredients. Photo: Flickr/Wine Dharma
Pasta alla carbonara (literally translated as 'coal workers’ pasta') is one of the most well-known and loved Italian delicacies: the creaminess of the eggs contrasting with the crispy guanciale makes it a pleasure to eat.
The origins of carbonara sauce are still uncertain. However, the recipe doesn’t appear until 1944, which prompts some speculations on how this delicious recipe came to be.
The most widely recognized theory is that this beloved Italian dish is an American adaptation of the traditional cacio e ova: when the Allied troops were stationed in Italy toward the end of World War Two, they got fond of pasta cacio e pepe, but to give them a “back home” flavour, they added smoked bacon to the recipe.
Roman people enthusiastically adopted the new dish, and quickly added it to their cooking.
Step 1: In a non-stick pan, fry the guanciale in its own fat until slightly crispy, taking care not to brown it too much.
Step 2: In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks and the whole egg with salt and pepper. Stir in the grated cheese until a thick cream is obtained. Add the cooked guanciale and reserve.
Step 3: Cook the spaghetti al dente. Reserve about 100 ml of the cooking water. Drain the pasta well, and immediately pour the pasta into the bowl with the eggs. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg.
Step 4: Add a little bit of the reserved cooking water, and mix well so as to coat all the pasta. If the sauce is still too dense, add some more cooking water. If too runny, stir in more cheese.
Step 5: If necessary, season with more salt and pepper. Serve immediately sprinkled with extra grated Pecorino cheese.
Silvana Lanzetta. Photo: Private
Silvana Lanzetta was born into a family of pasta makers from Naples and spent 17 years as a part-time apprentice in her grandmother’s pasta factory. She specializes in making pasta entirely by hand and runs regular classes and workshops in London.
Remains of nine Neanderthals found in Italian cave
The fossil remains of nine Neanderthal men have been found in a cave in Italy, the culture ministry announced Saturday, a major discovery in the study of our ancient cousins.
Published: 8 May 2021 16:59 CEST
Photo: MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP
All the individuals found in the Guattari Cave in San Felice Circeo, located on the coast between Rome and Naples, are believed to be adults, although one might have been a youth.
Eight of them date to between 50,000 and 68,000 years ago, while the oldest could be 90,000 or 100,000 years old, the ministry said in a statement.
“Together with two others found in the past on the site, they bring the total number of individuals present in the Guattari Cave to 11, confirming it as one of the most significant sites in the world for the history of Neanderthal man,” the ministry said.