Tag: pasta

Michele Carbone spaghetti

Spaghetti with Bottarga

This is a simple dish to make and delicious, but some people don’t like it because “it tastes too much of fish!”

This is a simple dish to make and delicious, but some people don’t like it because “it tastes too much of fish!”

Bottarga is the dried, salted, pressed roe of various fish, mostly being the gray mullet and yellow fin tuna (also sold under the name of Amberjack and Hamachi, which to be precise [since fish names are often not precise] is the tuna type that is known as “Ricciola” in Italian).  I have used the bottarga of gray mullet and various tuna. In my opinion, the bottarga of Ricciola is the best, but it is very difficult, and almost impossible to find in America. If you can find a source and send it to me, I’ll be very grateful!

The recipe uses the same “original base” that I use to cook the spaghetti cacio e pepe and those with ricotta cheese: I mean, for those simple recipes (such as Pecorino or ricotta, or in this case bottarga), you want to leave the ingredients the chance to shine in their natural flavors.


  • 1 box of spaghetti or fettuccine or linguine
  • ½ cup of extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • A handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley, plus 2 TB set aside to be used at the end of the recipe
  • 1 spicy Calabrian or Hawaiian, or Thai pepper (optional—use it if you like a little bit of a “kick” to your pasta)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • About 200 grams of bottarga. Keep the bottarga in the freezer until the last minute.


  1. Start by boiling the water for the pasta and when it bois add spaghetti or fettucine or linguine.
  2. Finely chop a bunch of Italian parsley.
  3. Get out a pasta bowl and warm it up (I run hot water into it, then pour out the water before adding the pasta, or use the microoven).
    1. All the ingredients are mixed into the bowl at the end of this recipe and you will need to move quickly.
  4. In a large skillet, gently sauté a couple of cloves of crushed garlic in about ½ a cup of extra-virgin olive oil. Remove the garlic cloves as soon as they take on color.
  5. Turn off the heat, add half of the handful of chopped fresh Italian parsley (about two TB) and 1 or 2 minced peppers to the pan. (Remember to reserve about 2 more TB of parsley just prior to serving).
  6. A soon as the spaghetti tastes ready (al dente), reserve about 1 cup of the hot water from the pasta pan before pouring the pasta into a colander.
  7. Moving quickly, pour the pasta from the colander directly into the skillet (which should still be hot, but the fire is off). Gently mix the pasta with the oil and other ingredients in the pan. Add a little bit of the water that you reserved from the pasta pot (about ½ cup) and continue to mix. It should be a smooth mixture, not too “wet” but not too “dry,” either.
  8. Transfer to the warm pasta bowl.
  9. Add the remaining 2 TB of chopped parsley and gently mix.
  10. ” Grate –or shave- the bottarga directly into the spaghetti (the bottagrga, of course, you keep in the freezer until the last moment. Use a microplane or vegetable peeler to great/shave the bottarga).
    1. How much bottarga? Everyone has different tastes. I like a lot of it, but some people find it too fishy! So grate enough to suit your own taste. I’d suggest 200 grams for 1 box of pasta.
  11. Serve immediately.
  12. Buon appetito!

PS: I suggest you bring the bottarga to the table and allow guests to shave additional bottarga on their plates at will.

Buon appetito!

Suggested Wine Pairing

A fresh Rosé is a wonderful pairing; or use a cold, dry white wine like a Gavi.

Italiano: Spaghetti con la Bottarga
Piatto semplicissimo da fare, buonissimo, ma a alcuni non piace perché “sa troppo di pesce”!

Ci sono due tipi di Bottarga, almeno che io sappia, una di cefalo (muggine) e l’altra di Ricciola o altro tipo di tonno. Quella di Ricciola secondo me è la migliore, ma trovarla, almeno in America, è molto difficile, quasi impossibile visto che non l’ho mai trovata-se la trovate e me la spedite ve ne sarò molto grato!!!

La ricetta, semplicissima usa la stessa “base iniziale” che uso per cucinare gli spaghetti cacio e pepe e quelli con la ricotta, cioè per quelle ricette semplici dove vuoi lasciare al Pecorino (per il cacio e pepe), ricotta, e in questo caso alla bottarga la possibilità di farsi apprezzare nella loro naturalezza. Finita la filosofia procedere come di seguito:

  1. 500 g di spaghetti o fettucine linguine. Bollite l’acqua e calate la pasta.
  2. Soffriggere 2 spicchi d’aglio schiacciati in circa 120 ml olio d’oliva (½ cup). Toglierli APPENA prendono colore, SPEGNERE il fuoco e aggiungere un mezzo pugno di prezzemolo tritato (circa 2 cucchiaie) e un pepperoncino calabrese piccante tritato (o di piu` se vi piace mangiare piccante).
  3. Riempite di acqua calda una zuppiera, cioè dove metterete la pasta per servirla a tavola, e fatela intiepidire. Quando la pasta è al dente, dovete muovervi rapidamente!
  4. Prendere circa una tazza di acqua dalla pasta che sta bollendo appena prima di scolarla.
  5. Scolare la pasta e mischiarla nella padella con l’olio e aggiungere un po’ dell’acqua che avevate preso, circa ½ tazza, cioè quanto basta perché sia vellutata, né secca, né liquida. Aggiungere un altro po di prezzemolo tritato, (2 cucchiai). Mischiare e trasferire in un piatto di portata, che avete precedentemente intiepidito riempendola di acqua calda e poi asciugandola.
  6. SUBITO, grattare (microplane) or shave (vegetable peeler) RAPIDAMENTE sopra gli spaghetti la bottarga che naturalmente terrete nel freezer fino all’ultimo momento. Quanta bottarga? I gusti so gusti. A me piace tanta bottarga, ma alcuni storceranno il naso dicendo che sa troppo di pesce! Perciò fate a gusto vostro. Io uso circa 200 g. (suggerisco di portare la bottarga a tavola e grattarne altra sopra il vostro piatto a piacimento)


Bucatini alla Amatriciana (rossa)

Bucatini alla Amatriciana, Rossa (red)

Classic Roman recipe with too many variations.  It’s very easy to make, yet it’s difficult to find an excellent preparation in most restaurants.  Try my recipe – most of my friends love it.  It’s my youngest daughter’s favorite pasta recipe. As always, the quality of the ingredients is key.  You may need to go to a specialty grocer (such as Whole Foods) in order to find the guanciale or pancetta this recipe calls for.  You also need to get imported Italian Pecorino cheese, preferably in a small block that you can grate yourself.

This recipe relies on you cooking the Bucatini in boiling water for about 1-2 minutes less than the suggested cooking time specified on the box.  The reason for this is that you drain the almost-cooked Bucatini, then add it with the other ingredients and cook it on high heat for a couple more minutes. This allows the flavors from the sauce to absorb into the pasta noodle, creating a more flavorful pasta.  

Note: If you cannot find either guanciale or pancetta, you can use thick-cut bacon, but the flavor will not be as good.

Bucatini alla Amatriciana, Rossa (red)

Dr. Michele Carbone bucatini


  • 1 box of Bucatini, Spaghetti, or Rigatoni style pasta (500 grams)
  • 100 grams (4 oz) Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 125 grams (5 oz) of “guanciale” or if you cannot find it, “pancetta,” cut in thick slices of about (about ¼ of an inch thick by ¼ inch wide and ¼ long)
  • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
  • Red pepper flakes, or 2 fresh little hot peppers chopped very finely (put as little or as much red pepper as you like)
  • ¼ glass white wine
  • 400 grams of canned Italian tomatoes (home made, or can tomatoes, Pomi or similar) –for this recipe canned tomatoes are better than fresh tomatoes.


  1. Put a large pot of water to boil on the stove – it should be boiling by the time you get to step 4
  2. In an 8-inch skillet, add the guanciale (or pancetta), red pepper, and 1 spoon of olive oil.
  3. Start the heat at medium high and as soon as “sfricchiola” (means you hear it is frying), to low the heat for about 5-6 minutes to let the fat get out, then add white wine and turn the fire up for 30 seconds so it evaporates.
  4. Add the tomatoes to the pan and cook on medium or medium/high (depends how powerful your stove is, should be just bubbling slowly, not boiling). Cook this sauce for about 10 minutes
  5. In the meantime poor the pasta into the boiling water.  As soon as the water starts to boil again after the pasta has been added, use a long-handled wooden spoon to stir the pasta so that nothing sticks to the bottom.
  6. Drain the pasta very al dente, poor in a past bowl, add the tomato/guanciale sauce, mix well and add the pecorino mixing well all the time and serve immediately.
  7. Buon appetito!

Italiano: Bucatini/Rigatoni Amatriciana


  • 1 pacco di bucatini o rigatoni
  • 100 g di pecorino romano grattugiato fresco
  • 125 g di “guanciale” o “pancetta”, tagliato a fette spesse di circa (circa ¼ di pollice di spessore per ¼ di pollice di larghezza e ¼ di lunghezza)
  • 1 cucchiaio di olio extravergine di oliva
  • Peperoncino rosso picante a piacere –io metto 2-3 peperoncini rossi calabresi
  • 1 sorso (1/4 di bicchiere) vino bianco
  • 400 grammi -1/2 scatola di pomodori pelati schiacciati, Pomì o simili


  1. Pancetta o guanciale a pezzettini, 1 cucchiaio d’olio, fuoco medio alto appena sfricchiola abbassa il fuoco e fai andare circa 5-6 minuti perche` rilasci il grasso –la pancetta non deve essere fritta! L’importante è fare cuocere il guanciale a fuoco vivo senza bruciarlo!!!
  2. Appena il guanciale comincia a essere un po’ croccante, aggiungete un sorso di vino binco, fate evaporare 1 minuto.
  3. Aggiungere 400 g pelati a pezzetti, alzare il fuoco a medio/medio alto, deve sobbollire, girare spesso.
  4. Allo stesso tempo calare la pasta, scolarla molto al dente, versatela in una zuppiera aggiungere il sugo, mischiare bene 2 minuti mentre aggiungete Pecorino e servire.
  5. La fine del mondo!

Pasta e fagioli – Pasta with beans and ham bone

Pasta e fagioli is a classic winter dish – short pasta mixed with delicious cannelloni beans and topped with extra virgin olive oil.

Pasta e fagioli

Penne rigate with canellini beans

For this recipe I use a prosciutto, or ham, bone, to flavor the beans as you cook them.  This dish is so good that motivates me every winter to buy one prosciutto.  What prosciutto?  Well the best are the prosciutto from black pig from Calabria or Sicily –difficult to find in the US- and the Spanish Pata Negra, which is sold in the US.

This means that you purchased a whole prosciutto, and after you’ve eaten it, you use the bones when cooking the beans.

The ham “bone” actually consists of four bones: hip, femur, and tibia and fibula. Use only one of them at time: Freeze the others and you have enough for several different fantastic dinners.


  • 1 ham bone (preferably from a whole prosciutto)
  • 1 pound of ham meat, cut from the bone
  • Separate the fat from the meat, so that it can be included with olive oil when sautéing the onion
  • 700 grams of dry canellini beans
  • 1 red onion medium size, finely chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 8 leaves of sage or a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary –whichever you prefer
  • 1 hot pepper, minced (optional)
  • 400 grams (about 2/3 box) of a short pasta noodle, like penne, cavatappi , fusilli, etc)


  1. Dry beans need to be soaked overnight, for at least 12 to 16 hours. Put them in a pot and cover them with cold water, with at least 3 inches of water above the beans.  Add a teaspoon of salt to the water.  Once they have soaked overnight, pour the beans into a colander and rinse before starting to cook them.
  2. In a large heavy pot, pour enough extra virgin olive oil to cover the bottom (about 2 mm, or 1/8 of an inch of oil). Add the ham fat, and turn the flam to low/medium low.
  3. As soon as the fat melts, add the chopped onion, celery, sage and pepper, and cook on low heat till the onion become soft and translucent, about 7 minutes.
  4. Add rinsed cannellini beans, mix well, and add the bone. If the bone is too large for the pot, immerse the part of the bone which has some meat and let the top of it stick out of the pot.
  5. Add enough water—about ½ inch or 1 centimeter above the beans – and cover (Use aluminum foil if the bone sticks out). Bring to a boil for a minute, the lower the heat to very low.  and let it cook at very low heat for about 5 hours, mixing every hour, no more than that.
  6. When the beans are ready, cook a short pasta (like penne or orrechiete) in boiling water, mix, mix with the beans and enjoy, adding only a spoon of olive oil per serving dish. Do not add cheese.


Italiano: Pasta e fagioli con osso di prosciutto “il piatto del re dei poveracci”

Ricetta meravigliosa e semplice.  Alcuni mangiano il prosciutto per arrivare all’osso e farsi questo piatto delizioso –non è vero ma aiuta a non essere tristi quando il prosciutto è finito.  Di ricette ne trovate tante varietà sull’internet, se fate come dico io non ve ne pentirete.  Fatene in abbondanza perché riscaldata, come una ribollita è buonissima.


  • 1 osso di prosciutto che avrà ancora un po’ di grasso e a cui avrete rimosso per quanto possibile le cotiche che retano attaccata alla parte più sottile della gamba.
  • Circa 150 grammi di grasso del prosciutto, quello che si toglie per arrivare al prosciutto quando il prosciutto era intero, che avrete conservato in frigo. 700 grammi di fagioli “cannellini” secchi messi in una pentola e coperti con 4 dita di acqua per circa 16 ore e un po’ di sale.
  • 1 cipolla rossa medio-grande tagliata fine, tritata
  • 3-4 gambi di sedano a pezzetti
  • 2-3 rami di rosmarino –oppure 7-8 foglie di salvia, dipende dai gusti e da che avete in casa.
  • 1 peperoncino piccante, se vi piace.


  1. In una padella capiente di buona qualità: coprire il fondo con un filo di olio, aggiungere il grasso del prosciutto a fette sottili e accendere il fuoco, medio-basso per fare sciogliere il grasso. Aggiungere la cipolla e il sedano, il rosmarino e il peperoncino e fate cuocere coperto finché la cipolla e` translucida, circa 7 minuti.
  2. Aggiungere i fagioli, rimestare bene e aggiungere l’osso del prosciutto.  Se non entra in padella, mettetene dentro quanto possibile e lasciate la parte dell’osso senza carne fuori la padella.  Coprire con acqua e poi coprire il tutto con coperchio o carta argentata e fare andare a fuoco basso (minimo) per circa 4-5 ore, finché i fagioli sono cotti, rigirando ogni ora, cioè raramente.
  3. Quando i fagioli sono pronti, cuocere una pasta corta (orecchiette, stracci, mezzi rigatoni, toscani, etc), scolarli bene al dente mischiare la pasta con i fagioli e servire –se vi piace con un filo d’olio d’oliva, oppure cosi com’è. Niente formaggio.
  4. Buon appetito!


Pasta with Tuna Sauce

Mediterranean - Blog Title (2)

One of the world’s most palatable styles of food is Mediterranean cuisine. With a historic trinity of basic ingredients in olive, wheat, and tomato, the foundation for this approach to cooking has greatly expanded throughout the years, while still remaining true to its culinary roots. The key to these recipes is using good-quality extra-virgin olive oil (preferably from Italy), Italian plum tomatoes (Pomì is a brand easily available in most supermarkets), and fresh ingredients whenever possible.

Pasta with Tuna Sauce


  • Pomi crushed tomatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Canned tuna, preferably with olive oil
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Grated Pecorino cheese
  • Basil leaves, to taste
  • Salt, red and black pepper, to taste
  • Pasta (your choice of style)


Coat the bottom of a large saucepan with olive oil and heat on low to medium. Add roughly half of a box of Pomi tomatoes, sauteing them for about 4-5 minutes. Then, add the tuna, salt, and pepper and cook on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. After that, turn off the heat and add the chopped black olives and basil leaves.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta of your choice in a boiling pot. Once that is ready, add the sugo and mix. Then add the grated Pecorino cheese to taste.

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