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Spaghetti Carbonara

May 22, 2012

A few weeks ago, I was on my way home from a business trip…the flight was very bumpy and the drive from the airport wasn’t great either.  I was ready to get home and wanted a comforting dinner immediately.  I had a sudden craving for a creamy bowl of spaghetti carbonara and improvised a crude version for dinner that night.  It had quite a few flaws so I set out to make REAL carbonara.

If you live in the tri-state area and have looked at the weather forecast recently, you’ll want to make this this week.  Warm, creamy and packed with flavor, it’s the perfect antidote to a rainy and dreary week.

Spaghetti Carbonara
adapted from Tyler Florence
serves 4-6

one pound spaghetti
1/2 pound bacon, trimmed of extra fat, or pancetta, cut into small pieces
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

**The pasta must be added to the sauce when it is still hot so make sure your sauce is ready for the pasta.  The hot pasta cooks the raw eggs so you need to act quickly.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook pasta according to package directions until al dente.  Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta cooking water.

Meanwhile, combine the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps.  Set aside.

Heat a large, straight sided sauté pan over medium heat.  Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the fat is rendered and the bacon is crisp, about 3-5 minutes.  Add garlic and sauté for one minute to soften.  Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat in the bacon fat.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the egg and Parmesan mixture to the pasta, whisking quickly so the eggs thicken.  Make sure to do this off the heat so the eggs don’t scramble.  Add reserved pasta water to thin the sauce to your liking.  Season with several grinds of black pepper, a pinch of salt.  Mound the pasta into a pasta bowl and sprinkle with parsley.

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