Posts Tagged ‘pasta’

Linguine alla Carbonara

Quick, simple, inexpensive, and delicious!  Or put another way:  Bacon, eggs, cheese and pasta!  In either case, you can’t go wrong.

I have been wanting to make this for quite awhile, but for some reason, just never got around to it.  Anthony Bourdain’s episode of “No Reservations” from Rome rekindled the idea, but it dimmed after weeks went by.  FINALLY, I got around to making this for lunch today.

I’m not sure why I waited so long.  It wasn’t at all difficult, nor was it complicated.  There weren’t any exotic or expensive ingredients, and in fact, most of us probably have all of the ingredients (or reasonable substitutes) on-hand.  So, really, I have no excuse, other than the fact that the few times I did think about making it for dinner, the idea was nixed by Bikenut.

There are a lot of recipes for carbonara online, but in the end, I kind of did a mash-up of the ideas I liked the best.  Some recipes called for raw yolks to top the finished pasta, others crowned it with a poached egg.  Some added herbs, some didn’t.  Regular bacon, pancetta, guanciale.  Spaghetti, linguine, fusilli, rotini… like I said, lots of different recipes out there.   I went with very simple to start, figuring I could add extras the next time if I thought it needed anything else.

Simple is good!  I think I might add a little fresh herbs to the dish next time, just to give it a little, well, freshness, but this was pretty good as-is.  This dish would be a great meal for a quick weeknight dinner when you want something warm and rich and comforting.

Linguine alla Carbonara

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz linguine (or pasta of your choice)
  • 4 oz diced pancetta (or a couple of slices of regular bacon, diced)
  • 1 whole egg plus 2 egg yolks
  • 1/2 to 3/4 cup of grated Parmesan cheese (or a mix of Parm and Pecorino)
  • Cracked black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup of pasta water (don’t pour it out!)

Directions:

  1. Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling.  Add pasta and cook according to package directions.
  2. While pasta is cooking, in a large skillet or fry pan over medium-high heat, add 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and pancetta.  Cook until pancetta has rendered its fat, but not quite crispy.  Set aside.
  3. Whisk egg and egg yolks together with 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese in a small bowl.  Set aside.
  4. When pasta is ready, use tongs to remove from the water and place into the pan with the pancetta over low heat.  Add 1/2 cup of pasta water to pan.
  5. Whisk 1-2 Tablespoons of hot pasta water to the eggs to temper, then pour over the pasta and quickly toss, keeping the pasta and egg moving until the sauce becomes creamy.  Remove from heat.  If needed, add additional pasta water to thin, or Parmesan cheese to thicken the sauce to the desired consistency.
  6. Add fresh cracked black pepper to taste.  Top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese.