Thursday, August 18, 2011

Recipe: Spaghetti Carbonara

Like many of the recipes I infrequently post here, this is an adaptation of a Rachael Ray dish. (Note to Rach: Maybe if your recipes didn't have eight billion ingredients, I wouldn't need to adapt every dang one of them. Just saying.) I've simplified it and adjusted it to my tastes, so there's definitely a lot of wiggle room for you guys to adapt freely as well!

This is one of my favorite lazy-night dishes because it takes about 20-30 minutes to make, it's super easy and it's sooooo delicious! No lie...for just being some spaghetti with stuff in it, this dish is absolutely awesome.

- small fistful of spaghetti (what you'd normally make for two people; a little less than an inch in diameter)
- salt
- extra virgin olive oil
- 4 slices bacon (I like to use applewood smoked), chopped into small pieces
- 2 or 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- red pepper flakes (to taste)
- 1/3 cup dry white wine or chicken stock
- 1 large egg yolk
- ladleful (less than 1/4 cup) boiling pasta water
- Parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley, chopped
- pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add a liberal (read: lots and lots) of salt. Add the pasta and cook it until it's just slightly underdone. I'm talking a hair below al dente. Should take about 7 or 8 minutes, according to Rach.

In the meantime, drizzle a little olive oil in the biggest skillet you have and cook the chopped bacon until it's nice and crispy. Add more oil, if needed, and add the garlic and red pepper flakes if using. Sauté for about 2 minutes, then add the wine/chicken stock and let it simmer until it reduces a bit.

Beat the egg yolk and while you're whisking it, add the boiling pasta water. This starchy water will actually cook the yolk a bit and make a nice binding sauce for the dish.

Drain the pasta, keeping some of the water reserved, and add it to the skillet (told you you'd need a big one) and remove from heat. Add the egg sauce, a heart sprinkle of Parmesan (no more than 1/4 cup, I'd say), some salt and pepper and the parsley. Toss until the pasta soaks up all that sauce (add a little more pasta water if the mixture gets too thick). Top with extra Parm, if you want, and serve immediately. Sit back and enjoy basking in the glow of your significan't other's praise at how awesome the food is.


  1. YUM! This sounds delicious! Thanks for sharing because I have some seriously picky eaters at my house. But if it has noodles, cheese and bacon that will definitely be a hit!


  2. No lie I'm making this tonight! Also if you have any tips for cooking on a budget (maybe your a fiscal friday idea hint hint) let me know! I mean we have always been on a budget but since the layoff this week, we have been eating out of the freezer! Spaghetti is always cheap and yummy!

  3. This look delish!!! This is going on my to do list!


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