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Spaghetti Carbonara

Andria
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Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara is your hero when you want a no-frills, simple pasta. Creamy and rich, this is a dish that can be made from staples you probably have waiting in your refrigerator and pantry. A crowd-pleaser on all counts.

When you need to make dinner while staring at an empty fridge, Spaghetti Carbonara is your savior. Spaghetti Carbonara is also your hero when you want a no-frills, nothing-fancy, simple pasta. Creamy and rich, this is a dish that can be made from staples you probably have waiting in your refrigerator and pantry. A crowd-pleaser on all counts.

As creamy as it is, you might guess Spaghetti Carbonara would be filled with cream and butter. You would be wrong. Don’t get excited – this isn’t a virtuous recipe. Plenty of cheese and egg yolks and bacon fat stand in for the missing ingredients. Still, it’s kind of amazing that something so lush could come from such simple beginnings. 

The key to Spaghetti Carbonara is to be 100 percent sure you do not scramble the eggs that get poured over the warm pasta. (There is a place for bacon and eggs. Carbonara isn’t it.) There are a whole bunch of theories out there about how best to do this. The best way I’ve found is just to have everything ready and to work really quickly, tossing tossing tossing the pasta and the egg-cheese mixture with tongs so the eggs don’t have time to hit the skillet and scramble. A little practice is a good thing here; the perfect Carbonara will be worth it.

Spaghetti Carbonara

2 eggs, 3 yolks
1/3 cup grated pecorino romano
1/3 cup grated parmesan, plus extra for garnish
Freshly ground pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces diced pancetta or bacon
Kosher salt
Handful Italian parsley, chopped

In a small bowl, beat the eggs and yolks. Add the cheeses and a generous amount of pepper. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water by dipping a cup into the pot, then drain the pasta.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium. Add the pancetta and cook for about 5 minutes, until it is almost crisp and the fat has rendered. Remove from the heat.

Add the warm, drained pasta to the skillet with the pancetta and toss with tongs so that the spaghetti is coated with the pancetta fat. Pour the egg-cheese mixture over the pasta and toss quickly and thoroughly to prevent the egg from scrambling. Add some of the reserved pasta water, tossing until everything gets creamy. Season to taste with more pepper and a little salt. Serve garnished with more parmesan and chopped parsley.

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