2 years ago, I made a video of a buttery carbonara recipe. That video was sponsored by a butter company so it was in no way meant to be a traditional Roman or Italian carbonara. But it somehow made its rounds on the Internet and ended up being judged by 3 Italian chefs. In all fairness, the only problem they had with my dish was the fact that I used butter and added salt to the finished dish. I completely agree with the salting– pasta shouldn’t be finished with a dash of salt! It was just a habit I couldn’t seem to break at the time. 

While that was in no way a traditional carbonara, I still called it a carbonara because it had the main essence of one. Many people were yelling at me in the comments that the moment you change one part of a carbonara, Italians don’t consider the finished product a carbonara. But even among the 3 chefs who judged me, they each had their own version of carbonara. I’m all about experimentation and creativity in the kitchen, and in the end, what matters is that you enjoy what you cook. 

So I decided to start fresh, by really starting fresh. Here’s a cacio e pepe recipe made with fresh, homemade pasta. It’s definitely a challenge to make your own pasta, especially when there are so many ready-made ones available, but it’s worth it in the end. If you don’t have a pasta roller at home, I show you how to put in the elbow grease by using a rolling pin. But if pasta is really your thing, then I’d say invest in a pasta roller. It’s a heavy-duty tool that has many uses in the kitchen. 

Watch my video below and let me know what you think in the comments!

Recipe

Fresh egg pasta:
3 eggs
300 grams of flour
Cacio e pepe recipe:
I’ve seen people make Cacio e Pepe with olive oil, others have told me and swear by just cheese and pepper, others put butter (im not going down this road again)
For this recipe, I decided to just stick to Parmesan, Pecorino and Pepper. 3 Ps. 
For one portion, I usually go for at least 3/4 cup of grated cheese. Half will be added in the warm pan, half to finish the dish. 
The pepper is a matter of taste, start with 2 tsps of freshly pounded black and pepper and go from there. 
Toast the pepper first with oil, if you are using olive oil. If not, I’ve found that adding the fresh pepper to the pasta when finishing, helps give me the flavor that I want.
To make sure that the cheese melts well and creates a smooth sauce, rather than a clumpy one, make sure where ever you are combining the pasta + pasta water + cheese + pepper, is not a screaming hot pan, I’ve found that warm pans or a warm bowl does the trick. 
Erwan Heussaff
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