Spaghetti alla carbonara
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a simple, comforting dish -- when made properly. It's classic Italian fare that somehow lost its magic when coming stateside, much like how cacciatore, bolognese, and even alfredo have been reduced to comical shells of their original recipes.
This is more or less "authentic" Carbonara. Note that it lacks peas, cream, chicken, or any number of other fillers as you may have seen it in restaurants. If my tone seems bitter, it is because it saddens me that the closest thing I have found in a US restaurant has been runny, goopy, or cluttered. (The one notable exception being Cyrus, north of Sonoma, but that's a story for another thread). My first real Carbonara in a neighborhood restaurant in Rome was an epiphany. Warm, textured, rustic and filling.
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/4 lb. pancetta
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 lb. parmesan cheese (approx. 1 cup grated)
- italian parsley, for garnish
- black pepper
Heat olive oil in a pan on medium-high, add pancetta. Boil water for the spaghetti. (If using pre-made, begin cooking spaghetti.) After pancetta has rendered its fat and begun to brown, add garlic, and saute until soft. (If using fresh pasta, start cooking it now).
Mix eggs and cheese in a bowl. Stir until well combined.
Remove pasta from water, drain. Add to bacon and garlic, toss to combine.
Remove from heat. (This is important so you don't scramble the eggs) Stir in cheese/egg mixture until coated. Add plenty of black pepper. Garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.