Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Bride of Magazine Challenge: Spaghetti Carbonara

When I lived in France, I had a couple of host mothers who would make Spaghetti Carbonara on a Saturday night for those who were around and looking for something quick.  I always loved the bacon and cheese in the sauce, but I could never figure out once I started cooking for myself how to get the sauce that they would make. 
I think part of my problem was that I was going from memory, which can be a hazy thing.  I knew there were eggs, but how to cook so that there wasn't just scrambled egg clinging to the pasta?  I also couldn't decide beyond bacon and cheese what needed to be added.
Enter a second look at the March 2006 Everyday Food.  While flipping through the Weekly Menu article, I found a familiar looking comfort food from my time in France.  When I told J what I was making, and explained what Spaghetti Carbonara was, I was met with tolerant skepticism.  I don't think J truly understood the magnitude of a dish with such simple ingredients that could just make you happy.
I was told, however, at the completion of this dish that I could make it again when I wanted.  High praise indeed.
I present to you now from the March 2006 edition of Everyday Food, Spaghetti Carbonara:

1 lb. Spaghetti
8 slices bacon, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
1/2 c half and half
3/4 c Parmesan Cheese, shredded

1.  Start a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.  In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp.   Drain on paper towels, set skillet aside.
2.  When water boils, start pasta.  As the pasta cooks, beat the eggs in a medium bowl.  Add garlic, salt and pepper, cheese and half and half.
3.  When the pasta is cooked, drain and turn into the skillet over low heat.  Add egg mixture and toss.  Add bacon and toss so that everything is coated well.  Serve with additional Parmesan cheese.
 Adapted from Everyday Food, March 2006

 I don't have process pictures of this, simply because it comes together fast and simply.  Here are my thoughts, though.  I love my kitchen shears for quickly chopping bacon.  I keep bacon frozen on waxed paper in my freezer for just such a meal as this.  I know 8 slices of bacon seems like a lot, but this serves 4.  That's only 2 slices of bacon per person.

What's even better?  I got the sauce to coat.  I used the low heat to ensure that the eggs were cooked through, even though I didn't worry about that in the chocolate ice cream I made recently.  But no matter.  This was a comfort meal on a wet day.  How can that be a bad thing?

1 comment:

  1. I love spaghetti carbonara. It's the perfect example of a few key ingredients coming together to make something special. AND TASTY. We made spaghetti squash carbonara a while back (think it might have been in casserole form??!) and that was probably the best spaghetti squash I've had.