A Recipe Wednesday Little Gem

10 Nov

So earlier this week I had the privilege of having some friends over for dinner (Kteb included) and I decided to try my hand at making Carbonara. The Love Muffin and I ordered this dish earlier this year at a little Italian place in Salem – Bella Verona, Trattoria (this place is to DIE for – please go!). Back to the Carbonara at hand here, so neither of us had tried the dish before but had heard amazing things about it. We were not disappointed. I mean what is better than a completely rich pasta dish where the pasta is tossed with olive oil, pancetta, Parmesan and egg??

So I figured, why not try my hand at making this utterly simple, yet fab, Italian dish. I jumped on the internet to find a recipe and Tyler Florence came to my rescue. Here’s the recipe along with my notes.

Serves: 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped (Yep[still using parsley from the garden – I know you’re jealous)

Directions

Start cooking the pasta. I used thick spaghetti noodles for this rather than regular or thin. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, drop in the pasta and let it do its thing. Cook the pasta until its al dente (about 8-10 min). It is vital that the pasta is cooked and hot when you’re ready to add it to the sauce – that way the raw egg gets fully cooked.When the pasta is finished reserve a cup of the pasta water to add to the sauce.

Next start on the sauce.  In a skillet over medium heat, add in the olive oil. As the oil heats toss in the pancetta and saute until it is crisp and the fat is rendered (Tyler said this would take 3 minutes, it took more like 6 or 7 for me). Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften – be super careful with this so that the garlic doesn’t burn. You want to just cook it enough to pull the flavor into the oil/pancetta mixture.

While this is heating, in a separate bowl beat the eggs and Parmesan together, stirring well to prevent lumps. Once this is ready, add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan with the pancetta tossing to completely coat the noodles with the oil/fat mixture. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta (I did this by creating a little nest so the egg could hit the bottom of the pan), toss the mixture quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (note* I freaked when performing this step – my eggs looked like they were scrambling so I started tossing and tossing. Eventually they just thinned out and were distributed throughout the pasta). Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency (I didn’t use enough of this water, so the pasta was a little thick, but still delicious). Season the dish with freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt and garnish with with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table – like I even had to tell you that part.

So like an idiot, I didn’t take a picture of my masterpiece, however I will say that there were people at my table that had seconds. I would definitely make this again.

Happy Pasta Eating!

~cdog

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One Response to “A Recipe Wednesday Little Gem”

  1. Kristen November 10, 2010 at 5:42 pm #

    Yummm! I happen to be starving right now and you have pushed me over the edge. Carbonara is one of my all time faves, but yet I never make it at home. Will have to change that.

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