Cheeseburger Gothic

This pasta will end me

Posted February 2 by John Birmingham

I have a shameful secret. Well, it's shameful to me. I go to restaurants and I order the same things over and over again. The chicken and pork ragu at Vine. The Roman carbonara at Enoteca. The lamb kebabs at The Lamb Shop. Seriously, I eat a lot of fucking lamb kebabs. Sometimes with chips.

But it's that fucking fettuccine carbonara at Enoteca that's gonna kill me. Not by clamping my heart in a deliciously creamy stranglehold and squeezing until it explodes – although there is a fair chance of that – but more likely through frustration.

When I lived in Sydney I used to have fettuccine carbonara three or four times a week at a cheap trattoria in King's Cross. It wasn't silver service dining, but it was pretty good, and reasonably priced at a time when I couldn't afford much more than cheap pasta. Fast forward a couple of decades and the Roman variation served up at Enoteca in the Woolloongabba dining precinct is a revelation. About three times more expensive for starters, but so good I can't get past it, and they can't take it off the menu. Motherfuckers got cut last time they tried.

But because I can't afford to eat there every night, and because it's supposed to be a simple dish, I've tried recreating it at home. The restaurant guys have even talked me through how to do it. It should be ridiculously easy. You boil up some fettuccine, natch. Choose your porkalicious protein, I usually go for smoked speck, which I gently fry in a pan while the fettuccine is cooking. The pasta comes off the boil and get strained. A couple of eggs, sometimes more depending on the size of the meal, are gently folded through, say, a minute after the pasta has come out of the water – otherwise you're a fair chance of scrambling the eggs in the heat. Toss through the chopped up smoky pigmeat. grind over some fresh parmesan. Plate that bad boy up.

It's delish, honestly, even when I do it at home. But I'll be damned if I can get my carbonara to the same thick, heart stopping consistency as the restaurant’s. Seriously. Theirs is not even a sauce. It's more like a gravy. I normally program a couple of hours high-intensity interval training before I eat there and then, like a bear in winter, I don't eat again for months afterwards.

I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong. There is just… something… missing. And I cannot rest until I find out what it is.

10 Responses to ‘This pasta will end me’

Oldy is gonna tell you...

Posted February 2
Vegeta? Often the difference between "yum" and "wow"

John Birmingham swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2
I'm think I should have added some pasta water.

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insomniac ducks in to say...

Posted February 2
I'd beat together the eggs with cooking cream and fold that through. I'm sure it's a healthier option. Dairy, right?

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Dirk mumbles...

Posted February 2
add a little of cheese/parmazan to the meat and gravy and let that simmer for a few minutes. I think that is the trick.

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jl swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted February 2
This sounds amazing.

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balders is gonna tell you...

Posted February 4
try adding an extra egg yoke or two and some Parmesan and make sure that there is still some fat in the bottom of the pan from cooking the speck

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Leftarc has opinions thus...

Posted February 4
Add a little bit of the water from the pasta, has all that gluten in there to thicken up the sauce.

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John Birmingham is gonna tell you...

Posted February 5
These are all excellent ideas. I will have to eat a lot more of this pasta to try them out.

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Naut puts forth...

Posted February 5
Have you been here http://www.kalimerasouvlakiart.com.au/?

If you haven't, happy to take you next time you are in Melbs.

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FormerlyKnownAsSimon asserts...

Posted February 5
All this talk of pasta is driving me crazy. My better half has to cut gluten out of her diet (medical reasons) and this has flowed on to the rest of us. I tried making gluten free lasagne the other night. The flour just doesn't work the same. RIP (Rest In Pasta)

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