A favored classic ~ and one that I haven't made in a long time. Yesterday an email from Martha Stewart's people reminded me of this fact.
Oh, the power of suggestion...
It was on the dinner table last night and easy as can be.
This version is a little different in that it uses one less egg in the sauce, and includes half & half (or a 1 to 1 ratio of milk and heavy cream.) It's not cooked in reserved bacon fat, and there is no garlic in this one, either. (But you could add it if you like.) You may also use Pancetta (unsmoked Italian bacon) if you prefer ~ however, I like the slightly smokey undertone that regular bacon provides.
It's such simple recipe, but here are a few tips I use to assure success:
Set your oven to warm (or as close to 200 Degrees (F) as possible.)
Place your serving dishes/bowls, and mixing bowl in the oven to warm. Don't even bother serving Carbonara if your serving dishes are not warmed.
The eggs (and cream) should be at room temperature.
-To hasten warming the eggs, place them in a bowl of hot tap water for a few minutes right before cracking open.
-I put the cream in a Pyrex measuring cup and set it in the oven to warm slightly, not too hot or it will coagulate the eggs when you mix them together
While the spaghetti is cooking, mix up the sauce ingredients.
You want the sauce ingredients waiting in a slightly warm bowl, so you can add the piping hot pasta to the bowl of sauce then toss immediately. The pasta will cook the eggs, so it should be right out of the cooking pot with a little cooking water still clinging to it. Be generous with the pepper.
Just as a souffle waits for no one, neither does perfect Spaghetti Carbonara. Have diners seated at the table, ready to enjoy this delectable pasta as soon as it has been tossed.
Such simple tips, but they assure a perfect dish.
Here it is ~ my new favorite version of
1 pound spaghetti
8 ounces (8 slices) thick-sliced bacon,
cut 1 inch thick crosswise
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
3 large eggs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
1/2 cup half-and-half
(or 1/4 cup milk mixed with 1/4 cup heavy cream)
minced or chopped parsley
Set a large pot of water to boil (for pasta).
In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp- tender about 8 to 12 minutes; (don't overcook or it becomes tasteless), transfer to a paper-towel-lined plate, place in warming oven.
Salt the boiling water generously; add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package instructions.
Refer to my tips regarding sauce ingredients, then ~
When the spaghetti is minutes from the end of cooking time, in the large slightly warmed bowl, whisk together eggs, Parmesan, and half-and-half.
Drain pasta, leaving some water clinging to it. Working quickly, add hot pasta to egg mixture. Add bacon; season with salt and pepper, and toss all to combine (heat from pasta will cook eggs).
Serve immediately in warmed bowls, sprinkled with additional Parmesan cheese, and minced parsley if you like and be ready to swoon.