Thursday, November 17, 2011

Pasta Carbonara

Creamy. Bacony. Restaurant quality. Make it.

Pasta Carbonara
(from here)

200g AP flour
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 gallon salted water
(or 8 oz of dried pasta)

5 oz bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons white wine
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan 
2 eggs, separated


I made the pasta as I normally would.

I cut the noodles pretty wide.

Lay out to dry.

I usually do this in the morning and wait til dinner for everything else.


When you're ready to eat, weigh out your bacon (should be about 5 slices) and cut it up.

Toss into a cold pan over medium heat. This helps render the fat better.

Start a pot of water on the boil. Salt the water well (like, 2 tablespoons).

In the meantime - 

Get your sauce together. 

Mix the 2 tablespoons white wine, 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon black pepper together and stand by.

Separate your eggs. 

When your bacon is nice and crispy (but not burned) add the garlic. 

Sauté for 30 seconds and...

Immediately toss in the wine/cream/pepper mixture and stir vigorously to combine.

If you made your own pasta, toss it in the water now.

The sauce should be reduced enough to coat the back of a spoon by the time the pasta is nearly done - 4 to 6 minutes if you made fresh pasta.

Since I was planning on using some of the water, I just transferred the pasta from the water pot to the sauce pan a bit at a time.

Continue until all the pasta is in the pan.

Turn the heat to the lowest it goes and toss well.

Add the egg whites and 1/2 cup of cheese.

Toss for about a minute.

Kill the heat completely and add the egg yolks (after whisking them a bit).

Toss to combine.

Add a ladle of hot pasta water.

This totally takes care of the uncooked eggs and loosens up the sauce considerably.

Toss well again.

Serve with the remaining cheese.

This pasta was awesome. If I ordered this at a restaurant, I'd have been absolutely happy. It was rich and immensely flavorful. You could probably add some asparagus or peas or something, but it was pretty awesome as-is.

I didn't have to add any salt, as the salt in the pasta water was enough for the dish. The pepper in the sauce was key to the flavor as well. 

This was simple, easy, quick and cheap and tasted like it came from a high-end Italian restaurant. 

Seriously. Make it.


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