This simple Roman sauce is made creamy by the combination of egg yolks and hard cheese – it doesn’t contain cream, despite the profusion of recipes using it. The origin of the name is a bit more of a mystery … ‘carbone’ is Italian for coal, and it’s been suggested that this was a favourite snack of charcoal sellers, alternatively that the flecks of black pepper through the sauce look like coal dust.
The guanciale (cured pork cheek) that’s traditionally used can be hard to find, so substitute pancetta (cured pork belly) if necessary. It’s a super simple dish, the only trick is to work quickly once the pasta is cooked, it has to be tossed with the egg mixture while it’s still very hot, so the residual heat of the pasta cooks the egg and melts the cheese to make the deliciously creamy sauce. Pour a glass of Curly Flat Pinot Noir and dig in. Serves 6 as an entrée
Roberta Muir runs Sydney Seafood School and publishes the website Food Wine Travel, where she shares her favourite recipes and latest food, wine and travel discoveries. You can sign up here to receive her regular newsletter of recipes and Top 5 favourite food, wine and travel experiences.