Italian Cooking 101: Pasta Carbonara, Roman style

When people think “Rome” and “pasta”, there are four main options that come to mind. Amatriciana, Gricia, Cacio e Pepe, and Carbonara. Pasta Carbonara is a classic Roman dish that dates back decades and is so simple to make. With only 3 main ingredients in the sauce, it’s one of those dishes that’s so easy to make at home, but tastes dramatically different in an Italian restaurant. If you want to practice your Italian cooking skills and learn how to make pasta carbonara at home, read on for ingredients, technique and Carbonara recommendations in Rome.

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How to Make Homemade Lasagna: Making Lasagna the Italian Way

After learning how to make gnocchi and fettuccine by hand with a lot of practice, Edoardo’s mamma graduated me to making lasagna by hand in her kitchen. Lasagna alla Franca involves handmade pasta, béchamel sauce, tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella di bufala. It’s labor intensive but the rewards are an amazing pasta al forno that will blow all of your previous tries away, made with love. Keep reading for how to make homemade lasagna by hand—ingredients, recipe and cooking notes.

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How to Make Gnocchi by Hand

italian gnocchi by hand
Gnocchi con sugo

Gnocchi is one of the most delicious and easiest pastas to make by hand. Due to its short ingredient list and round shape, anyone can make this northern Italian specialty. I like it best with a simple red sauce (maybe topped with fresh mozzarella), but gnocchi is also amazing in a topped with variety of other sauces like ragu and pesto.

I’ve made gnocchi by hand with Edoardo’s mom a couple of times and every time I'm surprised by how easy the method is (if time-consuming). The most important thing to keep in mind when making gnocchi is that because it has such few ingredients, the timing while boiling the potatoes, mashing, forming the dough and boiling the gnocchi is key. Everything has to be done straightaway, with no breaks in between.  Giving exact instructions for a pasta like gnocchi is difficult, because the most important component is the texture, which has to be assessed in the moment. Like any good Italian cook will tell you, it just has to "feel right". But if you do take the time to make your own gnocchi by hand, it could be the best pasta you've ever tasted.

Keep reading for an Italian mom’s recipe for gnocchi and red sauce.

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