The other Carbonara

Memories of my London life..Carbonara “revisited”.


It’s lunch time. My Greek roommate offers to make our Sunday meal. I accept his invitation. It is always nice to spend the Sunday together, sharing lunch, especially when you are away from home.

He returns from the supermarket with two bags full of food and immediately goes to the stove. He will make the carbonara (if you missed above, my roommate is Greek).

Carbonara is perhaps my favorite dish, I look forward to tasting it.

In a pot he puts the water to boil and pour a little oil. I explain to him that in Italy nothing else is added to water, except for salt, when the water is boiling. He tells me that everybody does this in Greece, otherwise the pasta will stick. I prefer not to contradict. After all, he cooks today and cooks in his own way.

He pours the pasta (400 g for two), the pasta is called paccheri. Many of them remain on the surface because water is not enough.
Turn the pasta for at least fifteen minutes, so that several paccheri break.

He does not check the time nor tries to have a taste to check if pasta is ready, at one point he decides however that the pasta is cooked and the carbonara is almost ready.
He strains the pasta, which is left in the cold (just in front of the open window) for an indefinite time.

In the meantime, he grills four whole (fairly large) bacon slices. When these are well cooked, he addstwo tablespoons of salty butter, then the pasta (that is no longer intact), a whole pack of fresh cream, a whole package of grated mozzarella (never seen this type in Italy) and some parmesan cheese. Finally pepper. No trace of the egg.

We get to the table. We taste the pasta. He tells me that it is exactly the carbonara that he is used to eating in Greece. I think the flavor is not exactly what I remembered, to which I was used to in Italy, but that’s fine.

The important thing is to enjoy the company, to appreciate his gesture and to taste new “Italian-Greek” flavors!

The pasta is a lot and I struggle to finish it, but I chew, I chew, up to the last pacchero.

A little bit weighed by this alternative carbonara, I collapse in a deep sleep and I wake up when the sun is about to settle down.

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©2016 Clelia B.