Going Italian

I have been getting the itch to cook something new and yummy. As you have seen, my cooking ‘new things’ has slightly gone down hill. I need to get back on that crazy train pretty soon. Fall always brings flavorful new recipes, so I am excited to see what will be brewing in my kitchen.

So apparently yesterday was ‘Talk like a Pirate day” but I was not feeling that one and I am sure my patients really appreciated me not participating in that also. Mid-morning I was on twitter (@keemy87) and also saw that it was ” National Cheeseburger Day” … Yes! I knew what we were having for dinner ….Cheeseburgers!!! If your anything like me, You have to be craving what your about to eat or you just do not want to eat it.  I was actually craving Italian… I wanted PASTA, but not your typical boring baked cheese and marinara dish, something new and exciting. Don mentioned this dish that we order at a local Italian restaurant. >;>; Spaghetti Alla Carbonara <;<;

I was actually scared to make this for certain reasons .. you will see why shortly, but I bit the bullet and went strait for it!

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips We used pancetta
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving We definitely used FRESH Parm here !
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped Skipped ! Remember – I have a picky eater on board.

Directions

Prepare the sauce ( Egg Mixture) 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.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian “al dente.”) Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish. We did not need to use this due to the EVOO

While your pasta is boiling, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. we had lumps from our cheese and it came out fine. 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 ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

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WORD(s) of ADVICE…

Ask your significant other for help. While your boiling and rendering fat, have someone else make the egg mixture.

Add the egg mixture while one person is moving the hot pasta around . This prevents the egg to sit and scramble.

Add the egg mixture in increments . This also helps prevent the egg to sit.

 

My Thoughts…

It was good. Not as good as the restaurant because my house lacks a fresh pasta maker. {hopefully this changes when the wedding comes around 😉 }

Next time, I may use actual bacon for saltiness, and for that reason alone.

All of the ingredients combined make a light ‘creamy’ sauce. If you ever order this at a restaurant and they use CREAM to make it. Send it back and leave!

 

Hope you make this dish and enjoy it !

Recipe Courtesy of Food Network and Tyler Florence

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