Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cappellini alla Carbonara

Last night was one of those "what do I have in the fridge and pantry" dinners.  Turns out we had a TON of eggs leftover from the "Marathon Monday Brunch" so I thought I'd try my hand at Carbonara sauce.  I've never made it before but figured hell, I'm pretty good at this cooking thing, what's so tough about Carbonara? 

Carbonara is sometimes called "breakfast" pasta since it is made with bacon and eggs.  And cream.  And cheese.  I'd like to pretend that this was healthy since it's made with eggs but I doubt my dietitian friends would agree :)

First things first, bring a big pot of salted water to a boil for your pasta and start slowly frying up some bacon.

Once you've rendered most of the fat, add some diced onion and garlic (I also added some red pepper here because I like my sauces to have a little kick).  Turn off the heat when its done so as not to burn the garlic.

In a seperate bowl, I cracked open and whisked together 2 whole eggs and 2 yolks.  I added roughly an equal volume of light cream, some cracked black pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.  You'd be amazed at what a pinch of nutmeg can do for italian sauces!

When the water was at a nice boil I added my cappellini (angel hair).  You can use any pasta for this and I actually think that something with a little more heft, like linguini or bucatini, would be better.  Reed and I just happen to love the angel hair pasta.  Plus, it cooks super fast :)

Once the pasta was al dente I used some of the starchy cooking water to temper my egg/cream sauce.  People are usually scared to make carbonara because of the threat of scrambled eggs instead of a uniform sauce. Hence the tempering!  I added my tempered sauce to the bacon/onion mix in my skillet along with some fresh parsley.  I then added my hot pasta and mixed the whole mess together. For all of my germ-a-phobes: The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs so no worries on that end.  Plus, non-scrambled-eggs sauce!  A generous sprinkle of Parmesan cheese seals the deal.

Wow I suck at taking pictures.....

I served this with salad and a nice Primitivo - a big, dry, red which you can read all about on my wine blog.

And yeah, we're young and broke and don't have matching plates or bowls... so sue us! :)

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