Sunday, November 18, 2007

Spaghetti Carbonara

I love Carbonara if it's done right. It's a heavy dish and it should definitely not be eaten in large amounts. But it is so yummy that it's almost impossible to stop yourself:)

I have been looking for a easy but tasty carbonara for some time, and eventually I ran into Rachel Ray's recipe. It is a true recipe in the Italian comfort food style.

There are other recipes out there that also adds sauteed zucchini, or asparagus, or mushrooms. Feel free to taste them. You just have to saute them in the pan juices after you take off the pancetta. After you're done sauteing the vegetable, just take it off the pan and set it aside to add to the pasta later.


1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or rigatoni
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large egg yolks
Freshly grated Romano cheese
Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes. Don't throw away all of the pasta water as you will be using some of it later.

Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.

In a separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.

Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg.

Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper, and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes.

Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.

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