Ah, Spaghetti alla Carbonara, now that is music to my ears. I have tried Carbonara, at my own risk, at different eating establishments and had NEVER found it to be spectacular or really any good until Chris took me to Coppa Ristorante. I was incredibly amazed beyond belief that I had finally found a restaurant that not only made carbonara but made it VERY well! Coppa, however, uses a salami toscano as opposed to pancetta which a great compliment to the dish as well.
Apparently Carbonara is a dish specific to Rome based on eggs, cheese, bacon (either pancetta or guinciale) and black pepper. Normally spaghetti is used but you can use linguini, fettuccine, bucatini (which would be great for this dish as the pasta has a tiny hollow middle in which the sauce can soak into) or cappellini (which is my fave because it is light, plus it holds up well to the sauce without falling apart).
Below is my recipe for Carbonara portioned for 2 people; you may double it for 4 and so on and so forth.
8 oz. cappellini (angel hair) pasta
1/2 Tbs olive oil
4 oz rindless pancetta, chopped
2 egg yolks
2-1/2 Tbs heavy cream
4 Tbs freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
Salt & Pepper
Bring a large, heavy-bottom, pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add the pasta & return to boil according to pkg (4-5 min for angel hair).
Because I live so close to Phoenicia Specialty Foods, I can readily go over and ask for 1/4 lb of pancetta sliced #1 (which is approx 1 oz slices). You can get pancetta at HEB or Central Market deli departments as well. Pancetta is a pork belly meat that is cured in salt and contains peppercorns; however, there are several variations available. (as you can see, today, mine had no peppercorns)
Heat oil in a heavy-bottom skillet; add the chopped pancetta and cook over medium heat. Stir frequently for about 8-10 min until nice and crispy and golden brown.
Beat the egg yolks with the cream in a small bowl and season with salt and fresh cracked pepper. (if you read or have read recipes about using the entire egg, beware as the egg will curdle, and you will not have a smooth, creamy textured sauce as you would using only the yolks)
Drain your pasta and return to the pain. Tip the contents of the skillet, then add the egg mixture and half of your Parmesan Cheese.
Stir well, then transfer to a warmed serving dish and serve immediately, sprinkled with remaining Parmesan Cheese.
Beautiful and luscious. You may top with fresh-cracked pepper as well which is how I like mine.
Hopefully you'll be inspired to try this dish out as well and hope that you will find it both satisfying and sinfully delish!