Francesco Volpe Un Cuoco Bravo!
The original Spaghettini alla Carbonara
It was 2009, I was traveling to Italy with one mission in mind, to find a Chef who I could bring home with me. To help us host our private dinners in our house for Charity. Dirt Road Dining Style. Thank goodness I have an understanding husband who recognizes my passion and desire for hosting amazing, authentic dinners cooked by Chefs originating in Italy. I was fortunate to have a friend in Milano, that worked at a small, but authentic restaurant just outside of the city center.
That particular evening when visiting my friend Guerrino I spotted a handsome young man working in the kitchen. I asked Guerrino if I could meet him. Because at the time I did not speak Italian and Francesco did not speak English I asked Guerrino to translate. I explained about our charity events and told him about our cozy house in the forest of Fall City Washington and about our passion to bring delicious Italian food to our customers who time and time again put their trust from our hearts desires to produce authentic Italian food and wine.
Francesco, originally from Naples, had found his place in a small kitchen in Milano. It took Francesco almost one year to organize and plan his first trip to America. We hosted our 3rd Dirt Road Dining Dinner with our new found Chef in 2010. Together our Chef’s from Grazie and I took him to Pike Place Market, Uwajimaya, and some other local resources to find the freshest local ingredients. The dinners were a huge success. We did two. The first night we featured only the freshest seafood from the Pacific Northwest in addition, fresh lobster flown in from Maine. The second night we highlighted local meat from local butchers that carried the highest quality beef.
Some beautiful and delicious seafood dishes created by Franceso
The years went by, Francesco returning to Italy, leaving Milano. Now his new wife Sara and his brand new baby, relocating in Umbria. Over the years never losing touch with each other. In 2016 when Our Chef Philip wife died suddenly over New Years 2016 I once again contacted Francesco to return for a surprise Dirt Road Dining Dinner to benefit Phil and to help support him in his loss. Once again he willingly returned but this time with Sara, the perfect partner for our endeavor. Again with great success, we raised several thousand dollars to help with finances for Phil being a single parent and no longer having a wife to help share the expenses.
This brings me to last week in search of the best Spaghettini alla Cabonara. I once again traveled to the kitchen of Franceso in a small town in Umbria. To find his version of this classic dish. This pasta dish in particular, has many anecdotal significances about the Origin. My favorite one is the apparent one, the one that gives the meaning of alla carbonara, coal worker’s style. Some say it was a dish eaten by coal workers, with the abundant use of course ground black pepper, resembles coal flakes. Whatever the true significance implies, it does not embellish the simple steps to prepare.
Francesco working from his kitchen in Umbria
Spaghettini alla Carbonara
This delectable, easy to prepare pasta dish uses only 5 ingredients. Originally Spaghettini alla Carbonara hailed from the Cucina Romana.
2 cups of spaghetti or mezzemaniche
4 large egg yolks
1 cup of precooked Guanciale or pancetta
1/2 cup of Pecorino Romano Cheese.