Monday, March 21, 2011

Carbonara Craving

Spaghetti carbonara is evil. It's Hannibal Lecter, Dr. No, Keyser Söze. It's a villain on your plate. I don't know about you, but sometimes I can't help but root for the bad guys. It can be so good to be bad. Recently I was craving some spaghetti carbonara. This may be hard to believe, but I don't always give into my cravings. Yeah, I know. My nose just grew 3 inches. But seriously, sometimes cravings can pass. This one didn't. This "coal miner's spaghetti" with its silky, rich, unctuous sauce easily hit the spot. It's such a quick dish to put together, and requires barely more time than to boil the pasta. Bacon and eggs are such a classic breakfast combination, but toss them with spaghetti and you have a simple, delicious peasant dish (I'm not exactly rolling in the Benjamins, you know). So take a walk on the wild side. Make some carbonara. Be bad! Evil never tasted so good!

**Note** Although the recipe serves 4, it can be modified to accommodate less servings. The recipe is easily divisible by 4 (1/4 lb spaghetti, 2 oz bacon, 1 clove garlic, 1 egg, 1/4 tsp. pepper, 1/8 tsp. salt, 1/4 cup cheese) to make a single serving as I did on this occasion to satisfy my craving :)

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Serves 4

1 lb spaghetti
8 oz sliced bacon (or pancetta), diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 eggs, room temperature
1 tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. kosher salt, plus more for salting pasta water
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook to al dente. Drain.

While the pasta is cooking, add the bacon to a sauté pan and heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and heat for another 30 seconds, stirring. Remove from the heat.

Beat the eggs with the black pepper, salt, and Parmesan cheese. Off the heat, add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan of bacon, and pour the egg mixture over the top. Toss the spaghetti with the eggs and bacon, quickly so the eggs thicken and coat the spaghetti evenly, but do not scramble. Serve immediately.


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