Try out TV Chef and author Lyndey Milan’s Deluxe Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Caviar
There are many interpretations of this famous dish but classically it is made by tossing very hot pasta in raw eggs and so cooking a sauce. The name may come from the Italian word “carbone” meaning “coal”, alluding to the freshly ground black pepper which is an essential finishing touch to this dish. Though the ingredients are few, it is imperative they are of good quality especially the pasta. For this deluxe version, use egg yolks rather than whole eggs for a lovely yellow colour, guanciale rather than pancetta or bacon and topping it with caviar makes it deliciously indulgent.
Serves 4 as a main or 8 as an entree
Preparation: 5 minutes
Cooking: 10 – 15 minutes
500g good quality dried spaghetti
1 tablespoon (20mls) extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
125g guanciale or pancetta, chopped
4 free range eggs yolks, lightly beaten with a splash of water
40g (1/2 cup) Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons caviar
- Bring at least four litres of water to the boil, throw in a a good tablespoon of salt and immediately ease the pasta into it, moving it around with pasta tongs until all the strands are softened and submerged. Place a lid on until the water is boiling again, give a good stir with pasta tongs and continue to boil, uncovered, following the packet directions or until the pasta is al dente. Begin testing for doneness a couple of minutes before the packet directions say it will be done. Don’t add any oil to the water because it inhibits the sauce from sticking to the pasta.
- Meanwhile warm olive oil in a small frying pan and add garlic and guanciale to the pan and cook gently so that the garlic doesn’t burn and the fat on the guanciale “melts”.
- Combine the egg yolks and parmesan in a small bowl and whisk together.
- All the action happens at the end of this dish so have a large serving bowl heated and ready. As soon as the pasta is cooked, reserve a cup of pasta water then drain pasta and put into the warm bowl. Add contents of the pan with guanciale and garlic over the pasta and then immediately follow with the egg and cheese mixture. Toss
well and add a little of the reserved hot pasta water if the mixture needs loosening.
- Serve immediately topped with plenty of freshly ground black pepper and 1 – 2 teaspoons caviar depending if it is an entrée or main course.
Lyndey’s Note: Guanciale is an Italian cured meat made from pork jowl or cheeks. Its name is derived from guancia, the Italian word for ‘cheek’.
Check out Lyndey Milan’s story The Joy Of Caviar
Photography by Lionel Tregret.