By Karen Schulz
I don’t know the last time I came across a simpler more delicious dinner than this spaghetti a la carbonara. My maiden name is Napoli and until recently I’d never had spaghetti a la carbonara, granted I am also half Irish, but that’s neither here nor there. This dish has rocketed to the top of my go-to dinner list.
If you are not in the mood to cook, have picky eaters in the house, are very short on time, or did not get to the market, then this recipe is for you. Not only does it take just 15 minutes, start to finish, but odds are you already have the five or six ingredients necessary to make it.
To make it as “healthy” as possible use nitrate-free bacon, organic eggs, and feel free to use a gluten-free pasta, or banza, which is made from chickpeas. Serve a spinach salad on the side with light lemon vinaigrette and all the food groups will be covered.
This dish will be a crowd pleaser, as anything with bacon is delicious.
<<Spaghetti a la Carbonara>>
1 pound dry spaghetti
2 T. olive oil
4 oz. pancetta or bacon, cut in ¼” cubes
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh Italian parsley
Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure the spaghetti will be hot when the sauce is finished.
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8-10 minutes or al dente. Drain the pasta well, reserving ½ cup of the water.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté for about 3 minutes, until it is crisp. Add the garlic and cook for less than 1 minute, careful not to burn garlic.
Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat.
Beat the eggs and cheese together in a small bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken.
If necessary, thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water until your desired consistency.
Add fresh pepper and salt to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley (and extra parmesan if desired).
<Note: It is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.>