Pasta Carbonara

1 lb Any pasta of your choice 

2 Large Eggs 

1 Tsp Fresh Ground Black Pepper

4 Oz Guanciale, Pancetta or Bacon  

2 Tbls Olive Oil 

4 Tbls Finely Grated Parmesan Cheese

In a large 8 qt stock pot, bring 6 qts water with 3 Tbls kosher salt to a boil. While, waiting for the water to boil, dice the Guanciale into small square 1/2 in cubes.  In a sauce pan over medium heat, add the olive oil, then the Guanciale, allowing to render out the fat and become crisp. About 8 - 10 min.  

take your eggs and crack them into a bowl, add 2 Tbls of the parmesan cheese and wisk together until a smooth paste forms, to this I usually add 1 TBLSP cold water. 

When your water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook until al dente.  Al Dente means that the pasta is still firm when you take a bite of it, but not crunchy.

Remove your pan with the guanciale from the heat or simply turn the burner off.  You don't want a hot pan for the finishing process. Now drain some of the fat from the pan if you like, not all if you do, I personally prefer not to drain any of the fat.

When ready, take your pasta straight from the water and into the pan with the Guanciale, add the black pepper, and stir the pasta for a minute or two to incorporate, as well you want the pasta to cool off just a bit.  

The pan should be warm, not hot at this point. Now, add the egg mixture all at one time, and keep the pasta moving constantly. The warmth of the pan as well as the heat from the pasta will slowly thicken the sauce and temper the eggs. I can not stress enough to not do this in a hot pan.  You will not end up with scrambled eggs if you do!  Be patient this one takes a few minutes. 

By the end, pasta and sauce should be one.  

Plate, and finish with the rest of the parmesan cheese. 

Fresh Homemade Pasta

Sauce Pomodoro

1 - 28 Ounce can whole peeled tomato's 
1/2 Cup Olive Oil 
2-3 Garlic Cloves 
1 Large Shallot or 2 Tbsp White Onion 
2 - 3 Tbsp Fresh Herb (Basil or Oregano) 
2 Tsp Kosher Salt 
2 Tsp Freshly Cracked Black Pepper

In a large sauce pan over medium heat, allow the pan to get hot before adding the oil, add oil, and allow to heat up. 

Add the diced onions to the pan, cook until golden, about 10 min.  Add the diced garlic, and cook until fragrant, about 1 min.

Put the tomato's into a blender, blend until smooth.  Add to the pan with 2 tsp freshly cracked pepper, 2 tsp kosher salt, and the chopped herbs.

Allow all the ingredients to simmer for 30 min. 

Pasta Cacio e Pepe

'Cheese and Pepper'

8 Oz Chitarra Pasta 

Kosher Salt 

2 Tsp Freshly Ground Black Pepper 

3 Tbsp Unsalted Butter 

1 Cup Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese 

Bring 4 Qts of water to boil in a 6 qt pot that has been seasoned with 2 Tbls of salt. 

Once the pasta is cooked(about 10min) drain the pasta, but be sure to save 3/4 - 1 cup of pasta water. You'll need this to create the sauce. 

Now, place a medium size sauce pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot add the butter and pepper. Toast the pepper for no more than 90 seconds, add 3/4 cup water to the pan, then the pasta. 

Now, a little technique comes into play here. Place all the cheese into pan with pasta and water. Sprinkle it in as well rather than tossing it all in in one big clump. Make sure to keep the pasta constantly moving at this point. You need to use a combination of swirling the pasta in the pan and mixing with a pair of tongs.  Or if you are brave enough, tossing the pasta with the pan itself. If you forgo this part of the process the cheese with lump up. You do not want that. You are after a nice creamy, thick consistency that will only be achieved by keeping the pasta moving while mixing. 

This takes a couple of minutes to complete. The excess water needs to be absorbed by the pasta while simultaneously melting the cheese.  The pasta will not absorb every bit of the water, so if the sauce gets to thick, take the remaining 1/4 cup of pasta water you saved earlier and use that to thin out the sauce.  

Side Note, if you want to make authentic Fettuccine Alfredo, omit the black pepper.  The Alfredo sauce we know here in the states is not the original design of the dish.