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Rigatoni Carbonara con Guancia di Manzo e Parmigiano

Rigatoni Carbonara with Cured Beef Cheek and Parmigiano

This is a slight variation of the classic dish, which uses guanciale or pancetta and pecorino romano. We wanted to make something a bit different, showcasing “La Mucca” in 2 expressions through the beef cheek and Parmigiano. The depth of flavour is incredible.

Ingredients for 2
1. 300g Afeltra Rigatoni
2. 125g Cured Beef Cheek (you can substitute regular guanciale, pancetta, or polpa di spalla)
3. 75g Parmigiano
4. 3 free range egg yolks
5. 1 cup pasta water
6. Freshly ground black pepper

1. Heat a small pan on medium, while it is heating, cut the beef cheek into pieces about half the size of your ring finger tip.
2. Place the beef cheek in the pan and spread it evenly, the fat should be rendering with a light sizzle. You want to cook the meat to a point where it is not super crispy, and retains that meaty bite to it.
3. Bring 3L of water to a boil and salt, cook rigatoni ‘al dente’.
5. Save 1 cup of pasta water when done and drain the pasta.
6. Place pasta in a large mixing bowl and add the beef cheek.
7. Stirring gently, mix in the Parmigiano and pour in a bit (50ml) of pasta water to melt the cheese and emulsify the fat.
8. After about 2 minutes, it is safe to add the egg yolks and mix (you DO NOT want to do this too early, otherwise the hot pasta and water will cook the yolks!!!)
9. Stirring gently and continuously, you want to coat all of the rigatonis with the yolk Parmigiano mixture, adding pasta water little by little as needed, and the beef cheek should be evenly distributed.
10. Plate and top with freshly ground black pepper.

Buon Appetito!