Wednesday, January 30, 2013

bacon carbonara

This could have been a meatless dish- well, minus the eggs. But, since everything is better with bacon, I went with it.
This is also not a super simple recipe. The sauce to make the carbonara very easily becomes scrambled eggs and parmesan cheese over spaghetti- this is a lesson I learned the first time I tried to make it. This time, I made sure that my eggs, half and half and parmesan cheese were all room temperature before I even began tempering my eggs.
The nice thing about this recipe is you can alter it in any way you'd like, although that's kind of the hallmark of Italian food- it's very versatile. This recipe, I chose to use bacon and peas which is very traditional, but you can use sliced brussel sprouts, chicken, different cheeses, etc. Start by adding your pasta to salted boiling water. Meanwhile, add your half and half, eggs, seasonings and cheese in a small bowl and stir until completely combined. When your pasta is finished cooking, reserve 1/2 a cup of pasta water for tempering your sauce and drain the rest.
And what's BACON carbonara without its namesake? This recipe calls for 1/2 lb, but use as much or as little as you'd like. Using 2 tablespoons of the reserved grease, saute the onion and garlic until translucent. This is when I add my pasta.
Toss your pasta in the bacon grease, onions and garlic and reduce the heat as low as possible. Start by adding the hot pasta water to your sauce, a little at a time just until the sauce is considerably warmer. Then, pour a little at a time over your pasta and stir. Cook for about 2 minutes to ensure your eggs are cooked through. Add your bacon and any extra cheese you may want. Add your peas at the last moment so you don't break them up when stirring. Serve immediately!
Bacon Carbonara
4 eggs
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup half and half
Red pepper flake
Salt and Pepper
Garlic powder
1/2 lb spaghetti
1/2 lb bacon
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup peas

Begin by adding pasta to boiling salted water. When ready to drain, reserve 1/2 cup hot pasta water. Cook bacon until crisp, drain on paper towel and crumble. Using 2 tablespoons of the bacon grease, cook your onion and garlic until translucent.
While the onions and garlic are cooking, mix eggs, cheese, half and half and spices until thoroughly combined in a small bowl. Add your drained pasta to your pan and toss to combine with the onions and garlic. Reduce heat to low. Using the reserved pasta water, warm up your sauce mixture until you feel comfortable adding it to the pasta. Add sauce to pasta and cook for 2 minutes so the eggs cook through. Add crumbled bacon, toss. Now add peas being careful not to break them. Serve immediately with extra cheese.