Sunday, October 19, 2008

Increase Your Kitchen Carbonara Emissions

I am usually good at planning out my meals before I head to the store. However, from time to time I manage to screw something up, forget that I need to make dinner on a certain night, or I am just plain lazy. In these instances I turn to my pasta carbonara. Or the phone for pizza. But this is not about pizza, this is about pasta.

This recipe has a thousand variations. I started with Rachel Ray's because it literally helped to start the relationship with her husband. I mean, it must be good, right? And it is. Garlic, bacon, cheese and eggs not only make a great breakfast, they make a good pasta dish as well. And you can more than likely make the sauce in the time it takes to boil the pasta.

I prepare my carbonara in a pretty simple manor. Chop ingredients, cook bacon, mix remaining ingredients in bowl, toss pasta with bacon, add bowl ingredients to pasta, toss, and eat. More or less that is the recipe you will find below. I like mine pretty spicy, so I held back on the included red pepper flake. Same goes for the garlic. Adjust as you see fit. I also include a tempering step (adding a small amount of liquid to the eggs before adding to the rest of the ingredients). This will prevent the eggs from scrambling and giving you a nice, thick sauce.


1 pound spaghetti pasta

1/3-1/2 pound bacon, chopped
3 T olive oil
5 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
1 t red pepper flake
1/2 c white wine
1 egg + 1 egg yolk
1/2 c Romano or Parmesan cheese, shredded + extra for topping
1/4 c chopped parsley
salt and pepper

In a large pot, bring water to boil with copiuous amounts of salt and about 1 T oil. Boil pasta until slightly al dente. In the meantime, heat a skillet over medium high heat and add the oil. When hot, add the bacon and cook until slighlty crispy, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flake and cook for one more minute. Add white wine to pan to deglaze and let evaporate almost all the way down. Reduce heat to medium.

While bacon is cooking, in a medium bowl whisk the eggs, cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper. Add 1 ladleful of pasta water while stirring to temper the eggs. When the pasta is done, drain (don't rinse!) and add to skillet, tossing with the bacon until coated. Add the contents of the bowl to the skillet, stirring and tossing the pasta quickly until the eggs start to thicken and a sauce forms that will coat the pasta. Serve, using extra cheese to sprinkle on top.


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