Friday, March 16, 2012

Carbonara


Bacon. Pasta. Garlic. Cheese. Yes indeedy. Please eat this American version in moderation ~ and make the other half of your plate something green and healthy. This makes 2 servings.

4 slices bacon (or pancetta), diced and cooked
2 servings cooked spaghetti or linguine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup milk or cream (this is an American addition)
1/3 cup white wine
1/4 cup grated parmesean cheese
1 egg, separated  (local, cage-free, farm fresh eggs if you can get them)
salt and pepper


First, put a bot of water on to boil for the pasta. Cut bacon into small squares and cook in a cast iron skillet or stainless steel pan over medium heat, stirring periodically until crispy. I recommend Applegate Farms uncured bacon, which has no added nitrates/nitrites - it has a great old-fashioned smoky flavor. When the water comes to a boil, add about 1-2 T sea salt and the pasta and cook until al dente according to the box instructions. The time depends on whether it is boxed or fresh pasta (I'll show you how to make homemade pasta on another post!). When the bacon is done, remove it and set on paper towel to drain off some of the grease. Add minced garlic to bacon grease (you only need ~2 T, so remove as necessary) and cook for a couple of minutes being sure not to let it brown too much or burn. Deglaze the pan with wine; meaning, pour the wine in and scrape all the little brown bits off the bottom of the pan. This is where the flavor is really concentrated. Cook for about 1 minute, then add drained pasta and milk/cream, stirring constantly. Stir in egg white, bacon bits and several grinds of freshly cracked black pepper. Remove from heat and add cheese and  stir in yolk*.  Taste to see if it needs salt, which it usually doesn't because of the salty bacon and parm. Serve immediatly. Leftovers are great, but the cream usually separates and it looks a little weird, but it's still delicious. I love it with frozen peas, steamed just until heated through. Pinot Grigio is best for this recipe--in it and with it!

Special Tidbit

*If you are an egg lover and are accustomed to raw eggs (and your eggs are really fresh), add a room-temperature yolk just before serving and bust it as you dig in.  This makes for a rich creamy delicacy.

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