Fettuccine Paglia e Fieno Alla Carbonara
If there was a simple word to describe this dish, “fantastic” would be it.
Fettuccine is one of our most favorite pasta. Wider than your typical spaghetti, but time ten in flavor. Fresh or dry, they are always a treat. One of the best parts is that you can prepare fettuccine with almost any, if not, all sauces.
What is Fettuccine Paglia e Fieno?
Paglia e Fieno literally means straw and hay.
This refers to the green, spinach pasta as hay, and the yellow, egg pasta as straw.
Traditionally this Italian pasta originates from Siena, which is part of the Tuscany region, more precisely is located in the central part of Italy.
The commingling of the green and cream fettuccine pasta gives a beautiful aesthetic appeal. Easy to identify at the store, one by the color of the pasta, and secondly, as it presented in the shape of little nests.
Those little nests usually cook rather quickly.
If they are hard to find, of course, you can use regular egg fettuccine.
What is Carbonara?
A typical dish from Rome is made with eggs, hard cheese, either pecorino or parmesan, cured pork such as bacon or pancetta, and lots of pepper.
Depending on where you are in Italy, variations come into play of course. Adding onions and white wine is a version that we have been enjoying for quite some time now.
The sauce has a very creamy texture without having any cream added to it. The creaminess is reached by beating the eggs with the cheese and adding some of the cooking water to your dish to keep it creamy.
However, one thing that Carbonara does not have and is absolutely not suited for is garlic, parsley, basil, or any spices that you may wish to add to it.
A very easy recipe to make, but follow these suggestions for success:
- Fettuccine paglia e fieno is a simple recipe to prepare, but follow these suggestions for success:
- Reserve at least a cup of the cooking water before draining the pasta. This reserved cooking water, which contains the natural starch from the pasta, will be needed to emulsify the sauce.
- Cooking the bacon or pancetta with the onion over low heat will allow all the fat from the bacon to be released and the onion to become translucent and soft, thus giving it a fantastic flavor.
- Be very careful when you will add wine to the skillet. Turn the heat off to prevent any spillover.
- Beat the eggs, parmesan cheese, and pepper in a large bowl. Parmesan is already salted by nature, therefore I would recommend waiting to salt it again.
- Save a cup of the cooking water and then drain the pasta. Add it to the egg mixture first and mix well.
- Once the fettuccine is well coated with the egg parmesan mixture, add the bacon-onion mixture. Doing this step will eliminate the egg mixture to cook too fast and have a grainy texture versus a creamy mixture.
- Yes, do cook the pasta a bit at dente, or to the bite. The cooking process will continue when you add the bacon-onion mixture to it.
Give a couple of extra grinds of pepper before serving. Serve with more parmesan if you so wish.
Egg pasta tastes so much richer than your usual dry pasta. Cooks the same amount of time but like all fresh homemade pasta, it grows.
in Italy, they are adding extra egg yolks to the fettuccine paglia e fieno alla carbonara. I enjoy the extra richness in the sauce. Try it and you decide what works best for you.
Do not be intimidated by the raw eggs. Once beaten and the hot pasta and sauce poured over, the egg will be cooked. Serve it on a large pasta bowl with a bit of a border to easily pick up the bacon pieces.
Looking for more delicious pasta recipes?
You may want to try:
Equipment and ingredients used to prepare this Fettuccine Paglia e Fieno Alla Carbonara
Fettuccine Paglia e Fieno alla Carbonara
- 12 ounces fettuccine paglia e fieno 12 onces fettuccine paglia e fieno
- ½ yellow onion 1/2 yellow onion, or medium, chopped in small pieced
- 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 7 ounces bacon 6 to 8 ounces bacon sliced in 1/4 inch strips
- ½ cup white wine 1/2 cup white wine
- 2 eggs 2 eggs
- 3 tbsps Parmiggiano Reggiano 3 tablespoons finely greated Parmiggiano Reggiano
- In a frying skillet over medium heat, cook the onions and the bacon with the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Add the wine. Lower the heat and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
- Meanwhile, in a large pan, boil the water with salt. Cook the fettuccine pasta al dente - 8 minutes.
- Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water and drain the fettuccine.
- Immediately add the pasta to the egg mixture and mix well until all the pasta is coated. Add the bacon-onion - wine mixture and stir until all blended. If too dry, add some of the cooking water.
- Serve hot with more Parmigiano.
Giangi's Kitchen provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as a registered dietician does not calculate them.
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Originally published on October 5, 2016, updated on November 29, 2021