Spaghetti alla Carbonara
One of my wife's co-workers has access to an abundance of fresh eggs - straight out of the coop. This is the third or fourth time we were the lucky beneficiaries of his excess.
We've made omelets and the flavor of those eggs really comes through. The best thing we've done is Spaghetti Carbonara.
It's a simple dish. The only ingredients are the pasta, some pancetta diced and fried crisp, freshly grated parmesan, coarsly grated back pepper and, of course, the freshest eggs you can find.
Eggs are one of the toughest food items to pair with a wine. The best wine we've found for this dish is Champagne. The real thing is kind of expensive for a simple Wednesday night dinner, so we went with Gruet, from New Mexico.
Gruet is made by a family that came from Champagne to make sparkling wine in America. They settled in New Mexico, and I really enjoy their stuff.
- 1 Pound of Spaghetti (Regular Spaghetti or Linguini, not too wide or too thin)
- 4 Tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 Cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 Large Eggs, the fresher the better
- 1/4 Pound Pancetta, diced
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- Boil water for the spaghetti. Use the biggest pot you have. The more water you use, the less chance of the spaghetti sticking.
- When the water comes to a rolling boil, add the spaghetti.
- When you start the spaghetti, heat the olive oil in a small skillet over low heat.
- When the water comes back to a boil, start the timer for 12 minutes.
- When you start the timer, add the pancetta to the skillet. Stir occasionally until the bits of pancetta are crisp, and most the the fat has been rendered. Keep the heat low! You don't want it to burn.
- Beat the egg with a fork.
- When the timer gets to the last 3 minutes, ladle several cups of the boiling pasta water into a large serving dish, to get the bowl hot.
- When the spaghetti is done, drain it with a colander.
- While the spaghetti is draining, dump the water out of the serving dish, leaving a couple of teaspoons full behind.
- Dump the pasta into the serving bowl, and immediately add the egg. Toss vigorously to distribute the egg through the pasta.
- Add the pancetta, the black pepper and the cheese, continuing to toss the pasta.
- When all the ingredients have been well dispersed though the pasta, serve.
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