So we took a long hiatus from blogging here during this past year. Our busy schedules kept us away, but probably more than anything our old house was impeding our blogging process! We had pitiful natural light in our old digs and a less than ideal kitchen. We were so sad. We love doing this blog and missed it so much. We’re not happy unless we are cooking.
The good news is that we have just moved into a home that we absolutely love! We’ve only been here a week but we’ve been taking full advantage of a spacious kitchen. We don’t even have a sofa or dining table yet but it feels like home already.
To prove that we aren’t all talk and no action…here is a recipe Jeff whipped up tonight. Last month we took a trip to Charleston to visit some dear friends and enjoy one of our favorite cities. Perhaps the most memorable meal we enjoyed was some out-of-this-world carbonara at Monza.
We were so hypnotized by it at the time that we didn’t bother to ask more about the recipe, and quite frankly, it’s so good that it’s probably protected under some sort of blood oath. However, the person who prepared the dish did offer us a little insight into how they cook the pasta. He said the real difference is in the broth made with prosciutto ends and parmesan rinds. We were determined to try it out as soon as we had the chance. Based on his advice, here is the recipe Jeff came up with (based off NY Times recipe and our version of the broth).
4 parmesan rinds (about 2″ x 3.5″ in size)
4 prosciutto ends, sliced (about the same in size)
1 sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp of salt
2 large eggs, room temperature
2 egg yolks, room temperature
2/3 cup of parmesan, grated
course ground pepper
3 oz of pancetta, diced into 1/4″ cubes
a couple of pinches of fresh thyme for to sprinkle on top
Prepare the broth by bringing a stock pot 3/4 full of water to boil, add parmesan and salt and allow to simmer for 30 minutes.
Add prosciutto ends to water and continue to simmer for another 30 minutes.
While making the broth, and using another large pot, bring water to boil. This will prepare the bowl you will mix everything in just before serving. Once the water is boiling, remove from heat and pour water in a large mixing bowl, preferably stainless steel, and set aside
In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, yolks, parmesan, and cracked pepper until thoroughly combined. It will be thick, don’t worry.
As you reach the hour mark for the broth, add the pancetta to a cool pan and turn on the heat to low,. You want it just hot enough to simply render. Remove from heat just before it becomes crispy and set aside.
Remove the prosciutto ends, parmesan rinds, and the rosemary sprig from the simmering broth. You are now ready to add the pasta.
Cook the pasta until it’s almost al dente (about 5 minutes with dry bucatini), strain and set aside long enough to bring the pancetta back to a low heat. Drain the large mixing bowl with the hot water and and dry at this point as well.
Once the pancetta starts to sizzle, add the strained pasta and mix together for a few seconds before adding to the heated, dry mixing bowl. Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta and blend with a wooden spoon. Serve immediately while adding a little fresh thyme over the top of each portion.