Bacon and Eggs
I love Pasta Alla Carbonara. It is one of my favorite things to eat when I’m in a good Italian Restaurant. When we were in Rome last year, I had Carbonara almost every day. I had try all of the different restaurant’s versions! Research purposes, you know?? I’ve noticed many people who make Carbonara add cream and make it almost like an Alfredo. Not me… Eggs and cheese are the only thickening agent I use, along with pasta water. I’ve found that adding a couple egg yolks in addition to the whole eggs makes for a creamier sauce.
Another thing I’ve found (by trial and error) are to toss the egg mixture and hot pasta in a metal bowl instead of the pasta pot. You’re less likely to end up with scrambled egg carbonara, which is not good. I think the pasta is hot enough to cook the eggs, but if you freak out about slightly cooked eggs, do your mixing in the pasta pot. However, be prepared for bits of completely cooked egg. Lastly, I add peas, which makes me feel better, like I added a bit of green healthiness to a rich dish. If you don’t like peas, by all means, leave them out. Also, I cheaped out at the grocery store and bought low sodium bacon instead of the pancetta. Either one will work, but the pancetta has a better flavor.
Pasta alla Carbonara Recipe
1 tsp olive oil
8 oz pancetta cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 medium onion, 1/4-inch diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 – 3/4 cup grated Pecorino or Parmesan cheese, or a combo of both
1 pound dried linguine or spaghetti
1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and add a tsp of salt.
2. Heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring often until it is well browned and crisp. Remove to a paper-towel covered plate. Lower heat to medium and add the diced onion and saute until caramelized, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for one more minute. Remove pan from heat and set aside.
3. When the onions are cooking, start to cook the pasta according to the package directions. When the pasta is al dente, reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain the pasta.
4. In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, egg yolks and cheese until well combined. Add 1/4 c of the hot pasta water to the bowl and whisk well to temper the eggs. Add the hot pasta and toss, adding more pasta wateras needed to make a creamy sauce. Toss with the peas and cooked pancetta. Serve with additional Pecorino or Parmesan cheese on the side.
Makes 4 entree size portions