Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara


This picture does not capture the beauty of this dish. It's not just this picture but every picture I have taken and this is the second time I've taken pictures of it for my blog. To solve this little problem you must come to my house so I can show you how to make this and so we can make it together.

I'm going to admit that it took me try after try to truly perfect this recipe. I've always loved it but sometimes it's too wet, sometimes it's too dry, sometimes it's really just eggs and pasta (what I call Poor Man's Carbonara) but this time I got it right. It's just how I like it. Creamy without being too saucy, flavorful but with a balance of flavors, not too yellow, not too white, it's just perfect...for me. Give it a try, play with the measurements and ingredients, find your perfect balance. Let me know how it works out for you.

Spaghetti Carbonara

1 medium onion, diced
6 slices of bacon, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pinot grigio (usually i use a dry white but I love the sweetness with the bacon and onions)
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1 lb spaghetti
3 eggs beaten
2 tbsp heavy cream or milk
1/2 cup or more of romano cheese
salt and pepper
extra virgin olive oil


1. Bring a large pot of water up to a boil and season generously with kosher salt.

2. While water comes to a boil, cook bacon in large pan and cover with a splatter shield so you don't burn yourself. When bacon is cooked remove with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. (At this point completely ignore the pool of grease on the paper towel, it will all be worth it in the end, I promise.)

3. Add a tablespoon of oil to the bacon drippings and saute onion and garlic. Deglaze the pan with wine and use a wooden spoon to pick up the bits of bacon that stuck to the pan. The cooking term for the tasty morsels (if you care) is called "fond". Once most of the liquid has evaporated turn off the heat.

4. Cook pasta in salted boiling water. While pasta cooks, beat eggs, cream and grated cheese in a small bowl and set aside.

5. When pasta is al dente remove with tongs and add to the pan with onions reserving about 1/2 cup of pasta water. Toss in bacon.

6. Slowly add 1/4 cup of hot pasta water to the eggs whisking quickly to temper the eggs to prevent scrambling. Toss with hot pasta, sprinkle with parsley and add if it seems very dry add more of the pasta water but only if you need it. Top with more romano cheese.

Serve immediately!








Patti T. said...

You are way too hard on yourself, that picture made me want to pack my bags and head your way for a lesson so I could eat this at least once a week!!

Denise said...

I think it looks great and Im sure the taste was even better.

Bob said...

If you're inviting me over to teach me how to make carbonara I'm already halfway there! ;)

Carbonara is one of my favorite things ever. Ever.

Danielle said...

really yummy!! Don't worry about the picture (we talked about those fake food photos, remember? LOL). I always have the worst time takiing pictures of light colored foods...they get all washed out.
Your dish looks wonderful...BACON!! (don't tell Axel hahahahaha)

Megan said...

This actually looks great! I love how the parsley adds color.

If you're interested, I have a really simple and foolproof spaghetti carbonara recipe on my blog. Leaves out the cream and the wine... just relies on the eggs and a splash of water for moisture.

Justin said...

i'm feeling hungry for some carbonara right now

Rachel said...

I never would have thought to have eggs in my pasta before - but boy I'll take breakfast for dinner now :-)

Culinary Alchemist said...

mmmmmmmm C A R B O N A R A!!!! The most awesomest pasta dish EVER!!! Looks GREAT to me Michele... I can actually taste it... (sigh) Pasta Heaven... :)

Lucy said...

Ok, lets set a date here & now! LOL!! Looks great and love this!!

BTW... I was at that shopping mall last night, wish I had known before hand, then maybe we could have met up. ;-)

Elizabeth said...

I love carbonara, but I'm always too chicken to make it. I know I'll get up the nerve some day. Yours looks great!

Mary said...

I think your pictures look great - makes me wanna eat some!! I know what you mean - it's the white food. Hard to capture the truth of the dish. This is one of my standby comfort pastas - love it!!

Joe Ambrosino said...

Not to argue with your choices of ingredients, Michelle, but I think this dish is so much better if you use pancetta and parmigiano reggiano instead of bacon and romano.But, my real quarrel is with how you add the eggs to the dish. I would just crack the eggs into the finished pasta and bacon/pancetta letting the heat of the pasta cook the eggs. Then I would top with the cheese and a heavy sprinkling of cracked pepper. Just my two cents!

Michele said...

Thanks everyone!

Joe - Thanks for your comment. I appreciate your criticism. I grew up on Romano and that's the cheese I have in my house all the time. However, if I had parmigiano in my fridge I would have used it. The reason why I don't crack the eggs right on the pasta is because I am afraid of the eggs scrambling. I've had it with pancetta and that is good too but I used what I had at home.

I think my approach to cooking is slightly different than yours. I don't believe that there is only one way to cook something. I think that measurements are just a guide and ingredients can be substituted. However, I do not believe that you should substitute it with Kraft supermarket parmesan cheese but I think if the quality of ingredients are good then your dish will be good. If we all cooked exactly the same then what would be the point of going to restaurants. Variety is the spice of life!

Calm In The Kitchen said...

I just did a similar dish using zucchini. Liked it so much I made it again yesterday! The leftovers were even better.

I had always been nervous of carbonara, but it was so easy and worth it!

;) amy

Proud Italian Cook said...

I love this Michele, and not to much cream! I believe varity is the spice of life too. You go girl!
One word of advice I learned about photo taking is Daylight, natural lighting, it makes all the difference in the world. I carry my food out into my sunroom to take photos, I hardly ever shoot inside my kitchen, they never turn out. Even a window, anywhere natural light comes in.
Keep cooking your way!

Shannon Marie said...

I adore your blog!!!!

porkchoptuesday said...

Made this for supper last night. Yummy!!!

I am going to link to your blog from mine. I hope that is ok?

Rachel Page said...

Love this. Might as well stick it on my thighs, because that’s where it’ll end up anyway, but this is one of my all time favorite dishes