In my twenties I travelled a lot across Europe, I moved to Amsterdam where I lived for 5 years, before settling in amazing Ireland.
Exactly like in some typical jokes, when you are abroad as an Italian you can expect a lot of people reacting screaming things like “mamma mia” or “bellissimo”, or putting their fingers together in what became the most famous Italian sign. And, of course, you can be expected to asked to cook pasta!
I remember travelling around Ireland with a dear friend of mine, before I could even imagine that one day I’d be so lucky to live in this beautiful country.
That night we were staying at a hostel in one of the Aran Islands. We made friends with a diverse group of people, including people from Australia, Germany and 2 Irish guys.
Do you have plan for dinner tonight? Someone asked. We could eat together! Somebody else suggested. The Italian guys could cook pasta for all of us! A plan was made.
Later that afternoon we walked to the small grocery store behind the hostel, bought all the necessary ingredients, and got ready to cook an epic Pasta alla Carbonara!
Especially when abroad, we take a lot of pride in cooking for somebody else. Maybe is because we feel the pressure of being the Italian guys, expected to be born with the “chef gene”.
That night we took the fresh eggs (number of eggs = number of people and one extra, or two in case of big groups). We carefully separated the yolk (you use all of them) from the white (you keep 1 yolk of every third egg).
We mixed the eggs with a good few tablespoons of milk, grated parmesan and pecorino (sheep cheese), a touch of pepper.
On a pan we slowly cooked the bacon (not being able to find the traditional Italian pancetta), until it released the fat and became slightly crunchy.
When the pasta was ready, we immediately drained it and placed it in a bowl with the raw egg&cheese mix, letting the heat of the pasta partially cook the egg without altering the taste. On top we added the bacon, grated a bit more cheese and served steaming hot.
Believe me, it was a huge success!