Carbonara

I ran across this super rich classic bacon and egg spaghetti dish and it sounded so easy and delicious that I just had to try it!

Talk about the ultimate comfort food.   It has everything I love…bacon…pasta…and cheese!  Yummo!

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on authentic Italian cooking.  🙂

Carbonara

1 lb. spaghetti *pasta
8 slices bacon, cut in small pieces
1 clove garlic, minced
4 egg yolks
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
diced green onions
salt and pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Cook the pasta as directed on package.

Fry bacon and garlic in a heavy skillet until crisp (mine is actually more done that what it looks like ;)).   Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels. Set bacon aside.  Set skillet aside, but save bacon fat.

Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks, half of the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper in a medium bowl until well blended.

When the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving about 1/3 cup cooking water, and immediately add to the skillet with the bacon drippings.   Place over low heat and toss for 1 minute, scraping the pan to loosen the pan drippings.

Stir in the egg mixture and toss thoroughly until combined. Add the pasta cooking water as needed to form a creamy sauce.  Add the bacon and remaining cheese and toss again to coat.  Top with diced green onions.  Serve immediately.

*Can substitute Dreamfields Spaghetti to lower carbs.

Another option is to use diced ham instead of bacon.  I believe the authentic recipe calls for pancetta, which is a yummy salt-cured Italian bacon made from un-smoked pork belly.

From Wikipedia:

Pasta alla carbonara (usually spaghetti, but also fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) is an Italianpasta dish based on eggs, cheese (pecorino or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon (guanciale orpancetta), and black pepper. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.

The pork is fried in fat (olive oil or lard), then hot pasta is dropped into the pan to finish cooking for a few seconds. A mixture of raw eggs, cheese, and a fat (butter, olive oil, or cream) is then combined with the hot pasta away from additional direct heat to avoid coagulating the egg, which must remain a liquid component of the sauce as it cooks.  Guanciale is the most usual meat, but pancetta, or local bacon are also used.

Cream is not common in Italian recipes, but is often used elsewhere.  Other variations on carbonara outside Italy may include peas, broccoli, mushrooms, or other vegetables.  Many of these preparations have more sauce than the Italian versions.   As with many other dishes, there are ersatz versions made with commercial bottled sauces.

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2 responses to “Carbonara

  1. I am not Italian either but who doesn’t love Italian? I’ll be trying out this dish.

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