What’s better than creamy, cheesy pasta dotted with bits of bacon? If that pasta has been turned into a nugget, covered in breadcrumbs and fried to a golden crisp. Obviously.
Finding genuinely original takes on both spaghetti and the deep fat fryer is surprisingly tricky, but one restaurant in California has come up with a clever way to bring the two together. Not content with a standard pasta bowl, Pollara Pizzeria in Berkely is serving crispy, gooey carbonara nuggets. You can start drooling now.
Christened “carbonara fritti”, after the Italian word for fried, the dish is the ultimate indulgent snack, combining everything you love about traditional carbonara in a bite-sized morsel. Creamy sauce, perfectly cooked noodles and salty pork balance perfectly with the crunchy coating, making the pieces as moreish as they are ingenious.
Rather than incorporating ordinary bacon, the dish is made using “guanciale” - a cured meat taken made from pork cheek. Guanciale is fattier than typical back bacon, giving a greater depth of flavour to the entire dish. Coupled with liberal quantities of pecorino cheese, it’s the best thing to come out of Berkley since Chris Pine.
Love Carbonara? You'll dore our amazing recipe for Chicken Carbonara-Loaded Fries:
Though the extremely Instagrammable nuggets are understandably stealing food headlines everywhere, they aren’t the only exciting thing on the menu at Pollara. As a specialist in “Roman street food”, according to its website, the restaurant also serves Pizza al Taglio - literally, “pizza by the cut” - which is famous for its rectangular shape and is sold by weight rather than diameter.
Pollara’s real USP is in its dough, which the restaurant explains further on its site. As they put it:
“The main thing that sets Pizza al Taglio apart from its pizza siblings other than the unique portioning is the dough, which is made with more water than most. Pollara’s dough is cold-fermented, meaning that you keep it in the fridge to rise.”
“The chilled temps slow down the yeast without halting the work of the enzymes that break down the gluten during fermentation, so more gluten proteins are broken down by the time the dough achieves the desired rise, yielding a less dense, more airy dough.”
Between this and the carbonara balls, it looks like a trip to California might be in order for fast food fans everywhere.