Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

It’s pretty cold here today. By “pretty cold” I mean 12 below 0. Well, that’s the claim. Every time I hear the weather forecast on the news it gets a little more dramatic. Before we know it, it will be dipping down to -100. Anyway, what I do know is that it is so cold that the usually heartless bastards that run my son’s school district cancelled classes today so that means hell IS freezing over. I know from talking to my mother in south Texas that they are also anticipating a cold snap themselves of degrees in the high 20s. All I have to say is that until you have to worry about your car radiator freezing to your driveway, it’s not that cold. I love you all, but you guys are a bunch of babies.

In preparation for the incoming storm and a snow day with a hungry boy at home, I slid all the way to the grocery store yesterday afternoon for a few staples with no clear game plan on what I would be preparing for the next few days. I picked up some cooking oil, orange bell peppers (at $1 each I couldn’t resist), a gallon of distilled water for my son’s chameleon, a gallon of chocolate milk for my son and a bottle of wine for me; as you can see very important ingredients for life during a winter storm. I was so proud of myself making it to the store and back in one piece. . . and then evening set in. I had no plans for supper and a motley collection of ingredients in the fridge. I didn’t think that the guys would go for fried bell peppers in chocolate milk sauce, so I got a little creative with the few things I had on hand. What I decided on is a favorite of mine when I go out, but something I’ve never made at home, Spaghetti Carbonara. I have to say that this simply delicious dish that is easily assembled with six, count ‘em SIX ingredients, was so delicious that the only audible sounds at the table were the oohs and aahs coming from my husband and son. Seriously, next time you find yourself with a box of spaghetti and ingredients for half a breakfast, give this super simple recipe a try.

Spaghetti Carbonara

Originally this recipe called for only 4 ounces of bacon but I love bacon so much I doubled it. If you do this you will need to pour off about half of the drippings so it won’t be too greasy. I also like to sprinkle some chopped parsley, freshly ground black pepper and red pepper flakes on it if I have them on hand, but it is still delicious as is. I also hear that this is best when made with Pecorino Romano but I usually just have Parmesan which I think is great.

1 pound dry spaghetti
2 tablespoons light olive oil
4 – 8 ounces smoked bacon or pancetta, sliced into thin strips
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus a couple tablespoons extra for serving

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; reserving 1 cup of the pasta water before draining.

While pasta is cooking, fry bacon in olive oil a large non-stick frying pan until it is crisp; add crushed garlic and cook for 1 minute longer.

Combine eggs and 1 cup Parmesan cheese in a medium size bowl; set aside.

Pour drained pasta into the frying pan with the bacon, drippings and garlic. Remove pan from the heat. Toss to coat spaghetti with the ingredients in the frying pan. Pour eggs and cheese over the pasta and toss quickly to coat. If pasta seems a bit dry, ladle reserved pasta water over a 1/4 cup at a time until desired moistness is achieved. This isn't a saucy pasta but it should be moist. Serve immediately with extra grated cheese sprinkled over.

Serves 6.

This current CSN giveaway is open to all public followers of this blog who just simply leave me a comment. If you don't currently follow please sign up by clicking the white "Follow" button and leaving me a comment at the bottom of my post. That's it, you're in! I'll let Random.org choose my winner on the 10th of February around 12 noon mountain time. Please only one comment per follower. Good luck!!!
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