I was one of those kids growing up who only wanted to eat buttered noodles with parmesan on top. Were you also one of those kids? I was the opposite of adventurous when I was a child and wanted nothing but chicken nuggets and pizza. Im glad I have grown out if that.
Sometimes, and especially when Im lazy, Ill cook up some noodles or whatever kind of pasta I have laying around and eat them with some butter and parm. That is, until I learned to make carbonara. This is like the adult version of butter and cheese noodles, only now it includes bacon.
This is one of the first meals that I cooked for Patrick when we first started dating. I had actually never made this before I met him and he was a guinea pig, as he still is with much of my cooking (sorry babe!)
Luckily, it turned out great and Pasta Carbonara has been a staple of my cooking repertoire every since. I almost always have the ingredients floating around my kitchen, and it takes no time at all to prepare and cook.
Most of the time you will see pasta carbonara made with pancetta (okay, yes, this is not technically bacon, but close enough) that has been diced into teeny, tiny pieces, which is fine if this is the way you prefer it. Personally, I like the pieces of pancetta to be bigger.
I will also usually cut down the recipe slightly, as it is just me and the boyfriend. While I can throw back the carbs, I think that a 1/2 lb of pasta per person is slightly excessive. If you are only cooking for 2-3 people, I will suggest using about 2/3 lb of pasta, 4oz of pancetta, 2 eggs, 2/3 cup parm, and 1 tbsp milk. Otherwise, the recipe remains the same.
Yield: 4 servings
1 cup parmesan, finely shredded
1/2 cup white wine
8 oz Pancetta, sliced into 1” squares
2 tbsp milk
1 cup reserved pasta water
Pepper to taste
- Bring salted water to boil and cook spaghetti per cooking directions on package, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.
- Whisk together eggs, milk, parmesan, nutmeg and pepper until combined, set aside.
- In a large pot, cook sliced pancetta over medium heat until slightly browned, but not completely crispy, about 5 minutes. Then remove from pot and set aside on a paper towel to drain excess grease.
- In the same pot over medium- low heat, pour in white wine and stir, bringing up any browned bits from the bottom. Cook wine until reduced by 1/2 and is of a syrupy consistency, 2-3 minutes.
- Add cooked spaghetti to wine-syrup and toss to coat.
- Turn heat off, but leave pot on the hot burner. While constantly tossing and stirring, gradually add the cheese and egg mixture to the pasta. The cheese will begin to melt and the eggs will slightly cook. The constant stirring and tossing will keep the eggs from congealing. If the cheese/egg sauce appears too thick, add a little bit of the reserved pasta water to thin out, then continue to add the rest of the egg mixture.
- Add reserved pancetta back into carbonara and mix together.
- Serve with additional parm and freshly ground pepper immediately.