Greek Influenced Bolognese
December 18th, 2014
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is one of those dishes that when done right is incredibly divine. And creamy. Dreamy and creamy. That’s what Spaghetti Carbonara should be. Though, now here’s the crux its creaminess shouldn’t come by the use of heavy cream. Since cream is not part of the original Italian recipes and – when done right isn’t necessary. Instead authentically its creaminess only comes from an egg-cheese mixture.
Then there’s another difficulty when preparing this dish to not end up with scrambled eggs because the sauce gets mixed under too high heat. Been there, done that. Very far from Carbonara. So the trick is to take the pasta mix off the heat or make sure the heat is at its lowest setting before proceeding with pouring the egg mixture.
Also another thing to consider is the spaghetti should be cooked not until al dente but slightly before al dente to not overcook them when mixed with the sauce. Ideally pasta should always be enjoyed al dente (end result). Overcooked pasta is no gusto.
When radicchio meets sherry
This recipe replaces bacon – typically guanciale (from the cheeks of the pig) or pancetta (from the belly) – with sautéed radicchio that’s been deglazed with some dry sherry. A simply perfect combination and welcome (meatless) variation.
Whole eggs or egg yolks only?
There are variations on either using whole eggs as the base or only using egg yolks. A sauce based on whole eggs only is lacking that divine factor. It’s somewhat creamy but missing the rich and velvety character hence the apparently popular add-in (cheat) of some cream. When using the yolks only it might get a little too rich (if that is even possible). A mixture of both – whole eggs and yolks is the answer and it’s actually quite common also.
A good ratio (or better say starting point for a ratio) of whole egg to egg yolk is about 1:2 – while calculating one egg yolk per person. So, for three people it’s 1,5 whole eggs and 3 egg yolk. Easy, easy. It shouldn’t be too difficult to find a different use for the remaining 0,5 whole egg. Ok, bad jokes aside. Depending on the people and the size of the eggs use either one or two whole eggs. I’ll probably would go with two – and use only one egg yolk. There’s for sure a mathematical formula for the ideal ratio depending on the amount of servings or people. Unfortunately I’m not a math person. If you are one then please feel yourself challenged.
Leftover egg whites?
Throwing them away would be no good solution. You can always store them in the fridge and use them for breakfast the next morning for some scrambled eggs, maybe add another whole egg or just scramble the egg whites. Or make extra fluffy pancakes by beating the egg whites and then gently fold them in your pancake batter.
[…] cooking with alcohol experience used to be restricted to only using whine or sherry (my spaghetti with sherry refined radicchio alla Carbonara recipe is originally based on an old recipe of mine that I recently changed into a Carbonara […]
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