Fettucine with Egg, Garlic and Olive Oil
Fettuccine all’uovo, aglio e olio di oliva
This dish is simply delicious. The closest dish to which I can compare it is Spaghetti alla Carbonara without the guanciale (bacon). Growing up we called it “white pasta”. No one could make this dish like my mother. Although the ingredients are very basic, they pack a lot of flavor. When mom served this dish, it was a real treat. It was and still is the ultimate comfort food for my family. It was not unusual for some of my cousins to ask Mom to make it for them when they visited. It’s so simple that you always have the ingredients available. However, as simple as it is, it takes some practice to get it right. I have put together step-by-step instructions, so give it a try, you will not be disappointed.
1 – box (14.oz) fettucine (or any long spaghetti you like)
5 – cloves garlic
1/2 – cup extra virgin olive oil
2 – eggs
1/2 – cup pecorino romano cheese (more for serving)
1 – tsp. ground black pepper
1 – tsp. dried oregano
1/8 – tsp. peperoncino (red pepper flake)
1 – tbls. salt
Put a large pot of water on the stove to bring to a boil. In the meantime prepare the other ingredients. Peel the garlic and smash it with the side of a large knife and set aside. In a small bowl add the two eggs, 3/4 teaspoon oregano, 1 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/4 cup pecorino cheese and whisk well. Set aside until the fettuccine is cooked.
When the water comes to a boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and the fettuccine. Cook until al dente (a little bite) or according to the package directions.
While the pasta is cooking, heat about 1/2 cup olive oil in a small skillet, then add the peeled garlic. Sauté on a medium-low flame until golden brown (do not let the garlic burn). After a few minutes as the garlic begins to soften, use a fork to smash the garlic to release more flavor. Be careful with the hot oil.
Remove the garlic from the oil and discard. When the fettuccine is just about ready, add a pinch of pepperoncino to the hot oil and 1/4 teaspoon oregano. Reduce the flame to low to keep the oil warm.
When the fettuccine is ready, before draining the pasta, reserve two cups of the pasta water in a small bowl and set aside. Place the fettuccine into a serving bowl and add the whisked egg mixture, and one cup of the pasta water and mix well.
Next add the hot oil to the pasta.
The hot pasta water and hot oil will cook the egg. Mix through and add another 1/4 cup pecorino cheese.
The cheese and egg should make a creamy sauce. If it seems dry you can add a little more pasta water if needed.
Mix well and serve immediately.