Pasta Carbonara: A 2 Cats Recipe
I always have an overabundance of eggs in my fridge. My boss raises chickens in her backyard and sends me home with a carton of eggs weekly. She knows I’ll put them to good use and bring some treat or leftovers into work. Last summer, I brought in brownies or pound cake ever few days. Though my boss and fellow teachers were initially pleased with the baked goods they eventually began to complain about their expanding waistlines and tight fitting yoga pants.
I went home this week with a new carton of eggs and had a dilemma; what was I going to make this time? Almost instantly, I thought of pasta carbonara. It includes four of my favorite things: pasta, cream, cheese and bacon in a breakfast themed bowl of perfection. I mean really, how could that not be delicious? I also happen to know it’s a preferred meal for another member of the 2 Cats household. I’m sure it would be a favorite for all if Tchai and Zelda had opposable thumbs….
A carbonara recipe can be a lot of things to different people. I’ve seen some include onion and/or peas. The eggs are sometimes fried and in some cases raw yolks are used. The protein of choice could be prosciutto or bacon. I’ve seen carbonara sauces include every kind of hard Italian cheese with every sort of pasta imaginable. In other words, the variations are endless. My carbonara is a rif on David Rocco’s very classic recipe. I prefer to use fettuccine pasta but spaghetti is yummy too. Parmesan is my cheese of choice but pecorino and asiago cheeses work well if that’s what you already have. Carbonara is about simple indulgence not shopping list anxiety.
Putting the dish together takes half an hour to forty minutes, with most of that time being spent on cooking the bacon and pasta. Once the pasta is al dente it takes less than five minutes to toss the fettuccine in the egg mixture and have it on the table. The carbonara is yummy right out of the skillet, but I found (as we decided to do an impromptu dinner invite ten minutes into cooking) that carbonara room temperature is pretty good as well. It’s eggy and creamy with bits of crunchy salty goodness from the bacon and parmesan. I’m not sure how the pasta faired as leftovers, I gave it to Chris to take with him for lunch and await his report. Unfortunately for my boss however, she’s going to have to wait for the next batch of Carbonara for me to bring it to work!
1 lb. fettuccine
½ Cup grated Parmesan
4 ounces bacon (4 or 5 strips)
1 Cup Half & Half
Salt & Pepper
A pinch Garlic Powder (optional)
Fry bacon in a large skillet until crisp reserving some of the bacon grease in the pan. Let the bacon cool and the crumble, set aside. Cook pasta until al dente. While the pasta cooks, whisk together eggs, half & half, parmesan, garlic, a pinch of salt and a lot of ground pepper. Once the pasta is cooked and drained, return pasta to the skillet with the bacon grease. Toss the pasta with the egg mixture and bacon on low heat for 2 – 3 minutes until the sauce begins to form. Plate the pasta and top with more ground black pepper.