Sunday, January 29, 2012

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

This is an old school version of spaghetti carbonara (hence the classic in the title). I see a lot of carbonara recipes that use cream and peas...those aren't traditional, but good (what's not to like?). I know some people are nervous about adding the raw eggs (usually because they think they're going to accidentally scramble them, but sometimes because they think the eggs won't be cooked enough and won't be safe to eat). But rest assured, the eggs cook enough just from the residual heat of the hot pasta. And as long as you add your eggs off the heat and whisk them in quickly enough, you should be able to avoid making a spaghetti scramble. Which actually, might not be that bad. After all, there's already bacon in there. Okay, you're on notice Denny's...if I see the Sizzlin' Bacon-Spaghetti Grand Slam Skillet Scramble start popping up in your commercials, I'm calling my laywer. Actually, I'm calling some friends to see if anyone knows a good lawyer, and then I'm calling my lawyer.

Yield: 4 servings

1 lb. spaghetti
8 oz. bacon, chopped
4 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
salt to taste
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh parsley

1.      Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Prep/assemble the remaining ingredients so they’ll be ready when the pasta is done. Cook pasta until al dente, according to the package directions. While the pasta cooks, start making the sauce.
2.      In a large saute pan, over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes.
3.      While the bacon cooks, beat the eggs and cheese together in a bowl and season with salt; set aside.
4.      Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels. Pour off all of the oil except for 3 tablespoons.
5.      Add the garlic to the pan. Season with black pepper. Saute for 30 seconds.
6.      Add the crispy bacon and the pasta. Saute for 1 minute.
7.      Remove the pasta pan from the heat and add the egg/cheese mixture, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble.
8.      Season to taste with salt and pepper. Mound into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

barely adapted from Emeril Lagasse
chopped bacon in the pan
bacon getting crispy
crispy bacon
adding parmigiano-reggiano to the eggs
cooking the garlic
cooked spaghetti and bacon added
adding the egg/cheese mixture (off the heat)
all mixed
on the plate, sprinkled with parsley
twirling onto a fork

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