Happy New Year! I thought the perfect way to start 2012 would be with some Spaghetti alla Carbonara. Maybe it's because the eggs and bacon that are mixed in with the pasta makes me think of brunch. Or maybe it is that this was often what my roommate in Italy would cook in the early morning hours after he got home from the bars. Either way, this dish screamed out to me as a great New Years Day meal.
Often attributed to Rome, Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a very simple, but very filling meal. Pasta is mixed with pancetta or bacon, parmesan cheese, and eggs. There is no actual "sauce", as the eggs create a thick, creamy sauce all of their own when added to the hot pasta. You can sometimes find this recipe with cream added as well, but since it isn't traditional, I left it out. Besides, it is plenty rich as it is without adding heavy cream! One of the best aspects of this recipe is that you likely have all of the ingredients on hand, making it a great last minute meal.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Adapted from Mario Batali
1 pound spaghetti
1/2 pound pancetta or bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup parmigiano regiano
Parsley, for garnish
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, seasoning with salt. When the water has come to a boil, add spaghetti and cook until al dente. Drain the pasta, retaining 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta and reserved pasta water to pot.
- While the pasta cooks, put a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crispy. Just before the bacon finishes, add the garlic and saute with the bacon about one minute. Remove garlic and bacon from the heat.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs together.
- Add the bacon, garlic, and parmesan to pasta and stir to combine. A little at a time, add the eggs, tossing to combine after each addition.
- Serve topped with parsley as garnish.
Ryan's rating of Spaghetti alla Carbonara - 4.
1 - Awful. If you make this again I'll shove a fork in my eye.
2 - Meh. It's not my favorite, but I won't threaten self-harm if it shows up again.
3 - Good. I wouldn't feel forced to order a pizza behind your back.
4 - Great! I will fight you for the leftovers.
5 - Love it! Make it again tomorrow. Or immediately and I will bathe in it.