I haven't joined in the great posting of recipes which results in such things as the Carnival of Recipes (hosted this time by our blogroll pal Anywhere But Here). But there's always something that pushes the blogger to do things he or she has never done before. So I'm posting a recipe stolen from the pages of Bicycling magazine but based on an earlier throw-away mention in a post of mine. The recipe is from a chef who cycles: Michael Romano. And, unbelievably, it's called:
"Michael Romano's Perfect Post-Ride Pasta Carbonara."
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 6 ounces guanciale (traditional cured pork jowl) or pancetta, thinly sliced and cut into strips
• freshly ground black pepper
• 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese
• 2 egg yolks plus one whole egg, beaten together
• kosher or sea salt
• 12 oz. spaghetti, bucatini or perciatelli
Before you ride (keeping in mind the name of this recipe):
1. Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the guanciale or pancetta, and slowly cook until it's crisp, 8-10 minutes. Season abundantly with pepper, then drain the meat in a colander, reserving the rendered fat in a metal bowl large enough to hold all the cooked pasta. Put the meat in a small bowl, cover and set aside.
2. Whisk the 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano into the fat to form a creamy sauce. Add pepper to taste. When the mixture is completely cool, whisk in the beaten eggs, cover well and refrigerate.
When you get back (and after a shower I hazard to guess):
3. Take the cheese mixture out of the refrigerator. Bring four quarts of water to a boil. Add salt to the water, then add the pasta.
4. Just before the spaghetti is al dente , ladle about two tablespoons of the pasta-cooking water into the cheese/egg mixture and whisk well. Add the meat to the bowl.
5. When the pasta is al dente, drain it well, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the bowl and place it over very low heat. Using tongs (I'd say you could use chopsticks but what do I know), toss the pasta gently but thoroughly with sauce. Heat from the pasta and the stove will cook the egg and thicken the sauce. If the sauce becomes too think or grainy, quickly add a tablespoon of the reserved cooking water and toss to restore the texture. As soon as the pasta is nicely coated, remove from heat.
5. Serve immediately in heated bowls and top with the remaining Pecorino. Serves four.
Or, in my case, two. (Kidding! I'm working on the eating thing.)