Pasta Carbonara – Simple and Delicious

Rachel and I went to Chicago earlier this month.  We went to a few different restaurants but her favorites were Italian (mine too!!) One of her favorite meals was at Grand Lux Cafe  and it was Pasta Carbonara.  I made it for our Sunday dinner this week.  Both her and Eric really enjoyed it.  Rachel’s only comment was she wanted more cheese. I had plenty of that set aside for her to add to her plate! Here is a history to the origin of Pasta Carbonara. I thought it was interesting!

Pasta Carbonara
(Thank NY Times for this recipe!)



2 large eggs and 2 large yolks, room temperature
1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated pecorino Romano, plus additional for serving (I used 1/2 cup and not enough for Rachel!!)IMG_1178
1 ounce (about 1/3 packed cup) grated Parmesan (again, I used 1/2 cup, not enough for Rachel)  -If you like cheese, add more!-
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper (add the black pepper, that is an important ingredient to this recipe!)
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
4 ounces bacon (or guanciale or pancetta – I used bacon) Slice pieces about 1/4/ inch thick by 1/3 inch square
1 cup pasta water (add that salt people!)
12 ounces Spaghetti (4 quarts water in spaghetti pot and 1 Tablespoon Kosher salt, a bit less if using table salt)


  1.  Place 4 quarts water in pot for spaghetti with 1 Tablespoon kosher salt. Get that started.
  2. In mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, yolks, Pecorino  and Parmesan.  Season with a pinch of salt and the black pepper. (Room temperature is important for the eggs.)
  3. Get the spaghetti pot boiling if you have not done so by now.  Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, add the bacon, and saute until the fat just renders, on the edge crispness but not hard. Remove the bacon from the heat and set aside. (I placed the bacon in a paper towel lined bowl. Leave the frying pan with the fat on the stove.)
  4. Cook pasta al dente.  Just before pasta is ready, reheat bacon in skillet. After warming the bacon add 1 cup pasta water to the skillet. Stir for a minute or two. (Yes, add the pasta water that is what makes the sauce!)
  5. Add pasta to skillet.  Stir together.
  6. Add egg and cheese mix.  Stir together.
  7. Serve immediately.  Have cheese in bowl to add for those who want more cheese, like Rachel!! 😉

Buon Appetito!!  Ciao!!


Vidalia Onion Burger

When Kent and I went back to Syracuse in June we went to our favorite grocery store, Wegmans. As we were walking through the store Kent saw all the different burgers they had in the case.  One that caught his eye was the Vidalia Onion burgers.  When we got home I went online and of course found the recipe on Wegman’s website.  These are simple and delicious.  Here you go:

Vidalia Onion Burger

IMG_1083(Oh, and when you go to Wegman’s you can’t forget the Dinosaur BBQ sauce!! )


1/2 sweet onion, peeled, 1/2 inch dice (about 1 1/4 cups)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 pound 80/20 ground beef
2 teaspoons BBQ seasoning (I have a recipe below)
4 hamburger rolls

BBQ Seasoning
(I cut this recipe in half)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup paprika
1 Tablespoon black pepper
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon onion powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional – I did not use)

Directions for BBQ Seasoning – Mix all together and store in covered container.

Directions for Vidalia Onion Burger

  1.  Preheat oven 350 degrees.  Combine onion, salt, pepper and oil.  Arrange in a single layer on parchment paper lined baking sheet.  Cook 30 minutes on middle rack of oven, stirring every 10 minutes.  Remove from oven; let cool.
  2. Add ground beef, BBQ seasoning, and onion mixture in large bowl.  Mix well, form into 4 patties. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. You can grill.  I used my cast iron skillet.  4 minutes each side.IMG_1127
  4. Serve on rolls.  You can use whatever condiment you like. We used Dinosaur BBQ sauce.

My BBQ seasoning story; When I first made these burgers I did not have any BBQ seasoning. I ended up searching online and using the above recipe.  When I went to Penzey’s for my frequent spice shopping I bought the BBQ 3001 Seasoning.  I used that in the mix the second time I made the burgers.  Kent liked the burgers but noticed the addition of a different spice. I made them for a third time with the leftover spice I previously made and he liked them much better.  The difference in the spice is the BBQ 3001 has a smoked seasoning in it.  If you like smoky flavor and you are making the above recipe add Smoked Paprika.  That’s my 2 cents.