Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Spaghetti Carbonara

My mom always made a very simple spaghetti carbonara growing up. Pasta, egg, cheese, peas, and ham or bacon. Now, whenever I go out to Italian restaurants and see spaghetti carbonara on the menu, it always is served with some sort of thick, creamy sauce.

Olive Garden's Chicken or Shrimp Carbonara: Chicken and shrimp with bucatini pasta in a parmesan cream sauce with pancetta bacon and roasted red peppers, baked and topped with seasoned breadcrumbs.
Olive Garden's Carbonara - 1,440 calories later!
Initially, I thought that my mom just made her version of the dish, and it was supposed to be a heavier pasta, with a cream sauce. WRONG! Apparently, my mom had it right all along. The authentic, Italian version is a simple pasta, with a light sauce. I guess when you make something way more cheesier/creamier this is called "Americanizing" it. Not that this version doesn't taste good, but the original is far superior. There's no school like the old school, even when it comes to pasta!

I made this the other day because I was craving pasta....cold weather will do that to you! Oh man, it was so good. I left the linguine a little more al dente than usual, and the result was a chewy, hearty dish that warmed us up.

If you only have a few minutes and are in the mood for some yummy pasta, this meal is for you. It literally takes about 20 minutes. Basically, just the time to boil / cook the pasta. Give it a try!

I used my dutch oven, so I could just mix everything in the pot, but alternatively you could use a large bowl if you want. The key is to make sure everything is ready when the pasta is cooked, because it needs to be hot when you mix everything.

Spaghetti Carbonara
6 servings

1 box linguine or other long pasta
2 eggs
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
8 oz pancetta, bacon, or ham, diced
1 large clove garlic, diced
2 cups baby peas
1 tsp dry parsley
1 tsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Boil water and add pasta. At the same time, saute the garlic and pancetta (or other pork product) in olive oil, until it is crispy. Add peas to warm.

If using a separate bowl, you should spoon your pancetta mixture into it now.

When pasta is ready, strain and dump into your dutch oven or mixing bowl.  Reserve some of the water. Stir in raw eggs (the heat from the pasta will cook them on contact), cheese, and parsley. Stir really well to incorporate all the ingredients! Salt and pepper to taste. If you need to, you can add a little of the pasta water to thin the sauce.

And because it is pasta, I sent this one over to Ruth for Presto Pasta Nights.


Anonymous said...

One of my top dishes. My favorite restaurant here in Denver "The Fruition" serves Pasta Carbonara deconstructed. It is to die for.

dpriceix said...

Always very yummy, but Mom actually pours the pasta on top of the egg and stuff then mixes it up.

Ruth Daniels said...

Your mom's way has me drooling. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights. Hope to see many more of your dishes in 2011.

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