Carbonara

Posted on October 9, 2021 by psu

This one is so easy it’s almost cheating. This scheme is based on a recipe I have stolen from Marcella Hazan. Buy her book, it’s in there. But I’ve adjusted the flow a bit to make it easier to follow. For me.

First get out your pasta cooking pot. Fill it with 3-4 quarts of water and start it heating. Toss a few big pinches of salt into the water. You don’t want too much water because you want the noodles to be able to make the water starchy while they cook, so you can use the starchy water later. You can do the rest of the recipe while the water gets up to boiling and while the pasta cooks. This recipe is calibrated to about a pound of pasta, give or take.

Now chop up three or four cloves of garlic and 3 or 4 slices of bacon (or more, go for it). Put these into a medium sizes saute pan with some oil and cook it until the bacon is crispy and frying in its own fat for a while. When it’s done deglaze the pan with white wine and reduce for a few minutes, then turn the heat off.

At this point your pasta water should be ready for you to cook the spaghetti, so drop it in.

While the pasta cooks, crack three eggs into a bowl and beat them. Add salt and pepper to taste. This will not take that long, so when you are done grate about a cup or a bit more of a mix of Romano and Parmesan cheese. The dark secret here is that Romano is better for this dish, and if you want to you can just not use any Parmesan at all.

When the pasta is almost done, turn the heat on under the bacon for a bit to warm it up.

When the pasta is actually done take out one scoop of the water. Then drain the rest and dump the noodles back into the pot. Add the bacon and garlic and all the oil in that pan and mix it around. Then add the egg and 3/4ths of the cheese and mix it around. If it’s too saucy, add cheese. If it’s too dry, add a bit of pasta water. When that is done, garnish with some fresh green herb if you want, but I never seem to do this anymore. Then add as much black pepper as you can stand to grind in without your hands cramping up.

Now you can gorge yourself.

Oh yeah, if you are nervous about raw eggs, be careful where you buy your eggs. Or you could always wuss out and get pasteurized eggs.

I love two things about this dish.

  1. You never actually have to cook the sauce, per se. You just have to mix it together.

  2. It’s really a bacon and eggs breakfast on top of pasta, with cheese. How brilliant is that?

Finally, if you are more efficient, you can probably do this with only one pot and the saute pan. But this flow is a bit easier.