Search This Blog

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara


Supposedly Spaghetti Carbonara was invented in World War II when homesick American soldiers brought bacon and eggs to Italy and the Italians decided that it would make a far better pasta dish than a breakfast dish. I think it is more likely that a cabal decided to try to see how they could pack the most fat and cholesterol into a dish without having people eat solid butter and they came up with this recipe.


Carbonara has only a few ingredients:

-Bacon or pancetta
-Parmesan cheese, lots of it
-Fresh parsley
-Roasted garlic paste
-Salt and pepper

I prefer using bacon to pancetta because bacon throws off more fat and makes a better base. Yes, I know that makes me sound like Paul Deen (she worships grease) but it is true. What can I say?

First thing is to render the bacon until it gets nice and crispy. I do this over low heat in order to make sure that all the fat is gone. I'm not a big fan of white, chewy bits of bacon. I actually found center cut bacon for the first time at the supermarket last week and I bought that since it has a lot more meat than the regular stuff.

Just to be even "healthier" I add sausage to my Carbonara. I got the idea off a recipe in a Jamie Oliver cookbook and it works really well. I take the casing off the sausage and make little balls and brown and cook them in a pan.

Next is the sauce. Basically you take the cream, eggs, parsley, salt, pepper, roasted garlic paste and Parmesan and mix it all together in a bowl...

until it is all incorporated like so. Oh yes, I forgot somewhere along the line you boil spaghetti. I didn't take a picture of that since boiling pasta is a tad boring. Incorporating everything is also a tad tricky; the heat of the pasta and the bacon fat is supposed to cook the eggs. You have to let the pasta dry enough so that it is not too wet but at the same time if it cools down enough there won't be enough heat for the eggs to cook. I prefer to combine everything in a separate bowl since I've found that dumping everything in the hot pan of bacon will just result in scrambled eggs instead of a silky sauce. Basically you mix your pasta, bacon, bacon fat and sausage balls in a bowl and then you dump in the egg and cream mixture and toss everything together until the eggs are cooked and your sauce is smooth and thickened.


This meal was actually for The husband and is an easy way of pleasing him. He of course always wants a ton more Parmesan on top. It's artery clogging and utterly delicious if I may say so. As with all recipes where there are few ingredients it is really important to use good ones. Although I'm not going to tell you to go buy organic eggs laid by a rare breed of hen I will beg you to please not use that dreadful stuff that comes in a can that Kraft claims is Parmesan cheese. Go buy the stuff that comes from Italy. I know it's expensive but it's totally worth it.
Blog Widget by LinkWithin