Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Artichoke Wedges
Spaghetti alla Carbonara with Artichoke Wedges incorporates this delicious seasonal vegetable into a luscious classic Roman recipe
First Course, Pasta
For the acidulated water:
For the sauce:
freshly grated pecorino Romano
medium Roman globe artichokes
set aside or freeze the egg whites to use in another recipe
freshly grated black pepper
Salt to taste
reserved pasta cooking water
Prepare your acidulated water:
The acidulated water will keep your artichokes from turning brown.
Put the cold water in a glass bowl.
Use a fork to help you squeeze the lemon juice from each quartered piece of lemon into the bowl of water, then place the lemon in the bowl.
Clean the artichokes:
Cut the stem off of the artichokes and set aside.
Starting from the base of the artichoke pull the leaves off until you don’t have to exert any pressure whatsoever to remove the leaves.
Cut the top third, or half, of the artichoke off based upon how tender it is (cut less if tender).
Slam the artichoke onto a cutting board so that it begins to open up.
Use a melon baller to dig into the center of the artichoke and remove the beard; the beard is the furry center of the artichoke .
Dip the artichoke into the acidulated water then cut into quarters.
Cut each quarter into three wedges and place in the acidulated water.
Use a vegetable peeler or a paring knife to remove the outer layer of the artichoke stems.
Cut the stems in half and then into 1 inch pieces.
Place the stems in the acidulated water.
Cook the artichokes:
Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil. The water should be only slightly salty to the taste.
Drain the artichoke wedges and stems and pat dry with a paper towel or a kitchen towel.
Simmer the wedges and stems for 8 minutes until just tender, drain, pat dry and set aside.
Prepare the guanciale:
Usually you can purchase guanciale already cubed or sliced into matchsticks.
If not, first remove the rind from the guanciale.
Slice it into 1/4 inch thick slices and then cut each slice into matchsticks, or small cubes.
Cook the guanciale:
Cook the guanciale in a heavy bottomed skillet (large enough to hold the pasta) over a very low flame until crispy and golden.
Slow cooking will ensure that the fat within the guanciale melts completely.
When the guanciale starts to turn golden add the artichoke and continue cooking for another 3 to 5 minutes.
Use a slotted spoon to remove the guanciale and artichoke and set aside.
Prepare the pasta:
Bring a large part of salted water to a boil. The water should taste like the sea.
Cook the spaghetti until al dente or according to package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking prepare the carbonara sauce:
Whisk the egg yolks and grated pecorino Romano cheese together.
Add the freshly grated black pepper and combine.
Drain the pasta but first set aside 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.
Toss the spaghetti in the remaining guanciale cooking fat. If you prefer you can discard part of this fat.
Whisk enough of the pasta cooking water into the egg yolk mixture so that it has the consistency of pancake batter.
Add the egg mixture to the spaghetti and toss until coated. Toss in the reserved guanciale and artichokes and serve.
if you can’t find fresh artichokes frozen work well.
Instead of artichokes you can substitute with zucchini or roast Brussels sprouts.