Pasta Carbonara

I came home from work today with some fresh asparagus.  I was ready to make a recipe that a friend thought I should try.  It was a pasta recipe but I was going to add the asparagus to get my “5 a day” fruit and vegetable quota.  Eric came downstairs and said he would like me to make Pasta Carbonara.  I suggested he pick out a recipe and if it was simple enough I would do it.  Well, it was definitely simple and of course delicious.  Took no time to make too.  Guess what, while I am slaving over the stove 😉 one of his friends called him to go and hang out.  He left me in that kitchen!!  Lucky for him there was some left and when he returned, he tried it and enjoyed it.  Rachel, Kent and I were able to have it for dinner and thought it was very tasty.   Kent did say it definitely had garlic.  If anyone knows me you know I LOVE garlic, so beware!!   Another nice thing about this recipe is it takes about 30 minutes.  Great to make after a long day at work.

Pasta Carbonara
(compliments Food Network)

Ingredients

1 pound dry spaghetti (I used Linguine)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips (I used bacon)
4 (very large) 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

Directions

1.  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.

2.  Bring a large pot of salted water (I use Kosher Salt) to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.  Drain the pasta well, reserving the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce.  (You don’t have to but I did use about 1/2 cup of the pasta water)

3.  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat.  Add the bacon and saute until the bacon is crisp.  Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften. (Be careful not to brown the garlic, pay attention!)  Been there, done that!

4.  Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the pasta in the bacon fat.

5.  Beat the eggs and Parmigiano 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 make sure this does not happen.)

6.  Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. 

7.  Season the carbonara with freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. (With the parmigiano cheese and the pasta that cooked in salt water, I did not need any added salt).   I added the chopped parsley to the entire dish.  You could also mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley and top with more cheese.  Your choice, whatever pleases you!

Enjoy this simple and delicious dish!!

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