Saturday, May 25, 2013

Pasta Carbonara

I had my annual physical exam this week. My bike riding, fit and trim doctor was overjoyed to hear about my recent love of pork belly... not. I'm teaching a home cooking class/party tonight and will feature my home-cured pancetta in a Carbonara. SWEET! and PEPPERY!


The beloved pancetta, before


Serves 6

1 pound dry spaghetti

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips

4 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 large eggs

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

Freshly ground black pepper

1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

  • Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm, "al dente." Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce.
  • Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and sauté for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and sauté for less than 1 minute to soften.
  • Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat.
  • Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.)
  • Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency.
  • Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt.
  • Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

Ready? GO!

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