Spaghetti ala Carbonara is so simple to make and you probably have all of the ingredients on hand. I have been thinking about my Dad a lot lately. He used to make Carbonara all the time. He wasn't a super experienced cook but he loved a good pasta dish to go with his nightly glass (or two or three) of wine. I too, love the flavors of the smokey bacon and pungent garlic with the tangy parmesan and the creaminess of the eggs. The freshness of the parsley and the spicy pepper are the perfect finishing touch. A hand held bowl of Carbonara on a cold winter evening is just right for the couch, a fire, a friend and a fond memory..
.1 lb dry spaghetti (or any pasta shape that you have in the pantry)
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1/4 lb bacon, cut into strips
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
4 large eggs
1 c freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
freshly ground black pepper
1 small bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender but firm. While the pasta is cooking, get your sauce ready. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat, add the bacon and sauté until crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic to the pan and sauté for just a minute to soften then turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to be done. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if needed. Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss briefly to coat the spaghetti in the bacon fat then pour the egg and cheese mixture into the pasta, tossing quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (remember your heat is OFF). Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, if needed, until it reaches desired consistency (mine didn't need any water but yours might). Season the carbonara with freshly ground black pepper and add salt to taste. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass the cheese please! For a spicier version add some red chile flakes. I paired mine with a beautiful glass of my favorite Sauvignon Blanc from Hatcher Winery, a local fave.
As a caterer for over 30 years, I have established a reputation for consistently creating original menus inspired by the occasion and the season, presenting them with an ease and elegance uniquely my own. Fresh, locally-sourced ingredients are the basis of my creative “from scratch” menus, which range from the classically elegant to rustic and whimsical.
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