This rich tangle of noodles, sauce and bacon is like gourmet mac-n-cheese. The egg sauce is velvety and tangy with cheese and of course there is bacon. Enough said right? Bacon. If you have never had carbonara sauce, please give it a go – it is really where it is at. Plus this recipe is perfect for all the fun crazy long noodles you see at the market.
This elegant dish is pretty simple though and comes together quite quickly. I highly suggest starting mise en place, if you don’t always cook that way so that you can smoothly transition from one task to the next. Also, Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is important that the pasta be hot since we are dealing with an egg based sauce.
The biggest obstacle, besides not eating the whole recipe yourself, is not scrambling the egg sauce. I like to temper the egg mixture with my pasta water. It’s a simple method that works quite consistently for me.
PASTA ALLA CARBONARA
- 1 pound dried spaghetti (or noodles of choice)
- 6 ounces of bacon, diced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 whole large eggs plus 4 yolks
- 2 cloves crushed garlic
- ½ cup grated pecorino romano + additional for serving
- ½ cup grated parmigiano-reggiano + additional for serving
(or you can go all one cheese/or the other…)
- salt & pepper to taste
- Chopped flat leaf parsley for serving… if you are into that sort of thing.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente (still firm, but tender) or by the package directions if using a fun funky noodle like we did. Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.
During the boiling process, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the diced bacon, we like a ¼ – 1/3 ” dice, and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Stir in the crushed garlic and cook until fragrant – less than one minute.
Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Whisk eggs and cheeses together. Temper the egg mixture with about 1/3 cup of the starchy noodle water. 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. Thin out the sauce the remaining water (if necessary) until it reaches desired consistency. Salt & pepper to taste.
Serve garnished with additional cheese and parsley, if desired. A little crusty bread and wine wouldn’t hurt either…
Happy Cooking, Apronclad