The Sicilian variation of the classic carbonara is pasta cu riquagghiu.
While carbonara is a recipe that dates back to the 1940s and 1950s, Sicilian carbonara originally appears in 17th century cookbooks. Its origins are ancient and are connected to the historical and cultural events of the island.
The traditional ingredients include eggs, cheese (caciocavallo or pecorino), and parsley, which were typically seen in “peasant foods”. The Sicilian carbonara lacks the guanciale that we see in the Roman version.
The major component is beaten egg, which cools into little lumps due to the heat, giving the pasta a sweet taste. Even though I prefer it dry, you can make it more creamy by adding a little cooking water.
HOW TO MAKE PASTA CU RIQUAGGHIU
Begin preparing the riquagghiu while the pasta is cooking in salted water. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs with a teaspoon of salt, a tablespoon of parsley, pecorino, and a good grind of pepper. Toss the ingredients together thoroughly. Drain the pasta right before it becomes al dente.
In a big pan, heat 5 tablespoons of oil. Pour the pasta into the pan and cook for five minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce to a low heat and pour the riquagghiu over the pasta. Stir quickly to ensure that all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined without allowing the beaten egg cream to thicken too much. Serve with a sprinkle of muddica atturrata on top.
Pasta cu riquagghiu – Sicilian Carbonara
- 400 g rigatoni pasta 14 oz
- 2 eggs
- 60 g grated sicilian pecorino or caciocavallo ~5 tbsp
- chopped parsley
- 4 tbsp muddica atturrata
- Salt and pepper
- 5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- Parsley should be thoroughly cleaned and dried before being finely chopped.
- In a small mixing bowl, crack the two eggs and whisk the salt, pepper, pecorino, and chopped parsley quickly together.
- Boil the pasta until it is al dente, then drain it
- Before draining the pasta, heat a pan with 5 tablespoons of oil.
- Pour the pasta into the pan and cook it for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce to a low heat setting and pour the riquagghiu over the pasta.
- To ensure that everything is thoroughly combined, stir quickly.
- If it appears too dry, add additional cooking water.
- Serve with muddica atturrata on top.