When you search on-line for the national dish of Vatican City the response is “there is no national dish of Vatican City”. The tiny sovereign state, surrounded by Rome and home of Pope Francis, seems to just feast on Roman food. So – I had to find a very Catholic sounding Roman dish…and I did. Fettuccine alla Papalina – the pasta of the pope’s skullcap!
Apparently it was created for Pope Pius XII in the late 1930’s as he wanted something new. It’s very similar to a Carbonara, but using more subtle meat in proscuitto, rather than pancetta – and salty pecorino cheese. It’s delicious, but I have a holiday to go on in 5 weeks – so I had it it with salad, as creamy pasta makes for very wobbly man-boobs by the pool.
The recipe is at the end, but for now some pics of me making it – including one of what appears to me having a horribly broken arm.
Recipe: (taken from http://www.pastadinnerrecipes.com)
Ingredients for 4 people:
- 1 pound fettuccine
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 1 small onion finely chopped
- 6 ounces prosciutto cut in thin strips
- 4 eggs
- 3/4 cup cream
- 1/2 cup pecorrino
- black pepper
In a large pan, on low heat, melt butter. Add onion and cook until soft, but don’t brown. Add prosciutto, stir and let it go a minute or two without browning.
In the meantime, in a bowl, beat lightly eggs cream and pecorrino. Check for salt.
Toss the drained fettuccine cooked a minute or more before al dente in the pan with onion and prosciutto. Mix for the pasta to absorb flavors until hot at medium heat.
Then turn heat off and pour the eggs cream pecorrino mixture in the pan and mix rapidly. Use a peppermill to add some black pepper. Mix again and serve immediately.