Monday, October 5, 2009

Pasta Carbonara

This past Sunday, I had a couple friends over to watch football. I wanted to make a dinner that didn't take much effort on my part, but would deliver an insane amount of flavor. My friend Sean is a huge bacon and onion fan and I had a ton of both from a recent Sam's Club excursion. So I decided on a pasta, but not just any pasta. The king of pastas, Pasta Carbonara.

  • 3/4 lb of bacon
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3/4 lb of Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1 pound of fresh linguini
  • large handful of fresh parsley
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Kosher Salt
  • Fresh Ground Pepper

First up, take your bacon and chop it up. If you throw a couple extra slices in here, it won't hurt the dish at all.

Throw it in a pan with a little pepper. Cook the bacon until it's barely crispy. We still want it a little chewy.

In the meantime, dice up your red onion.

And dice up your garlic.

Remove your cooked bacon from the pan and set aside on a plate. DO NOT throw out the bacon grease, that would be a terrible tragedy. You can remove some of the renderings, but save at LEAST two to three tablespoons to cook the onion and garlic.

Throw your onions in the pan with the bacon grease along with salt and pepper. About this point you should be getting a pan ready with water to cook your pasta.

When the onions are soft, add the garlic.

Cook for a few minutes until the garlic softens and smells wonderful, then remove. Do NOT take this pan to the sink though (or even remove it from the heat). Do you see all that brown stuff on the bottom of the pan? We are going to turn that into deliciousness.

Start by hitting your hot pan with the cup of white wine. Get a wooden spoon or some sort of spatula to get those brown bits off the pan. Did you drop your pasta yet? My water is boiling and the pasta is down.

Then follow it with the cup of beef stock and the two tablespoons of butter and let it cook down. We will reduce this mixture by about half.

While your sauce is reducing, grate your wedge of parmigiano reggiano into a large bowl. The bowl must be large enough to hold all of your ingredients including the pasta.

To the cheese, add 4 eggs and about a 1/2 of a teaspoon of crushed red pepper. You can add more if you like it spicier.

Now add your parsley, freshly chopped. Don't be shy here. It won't hurt.

Mix it all up with some.....fresh ground pepper. It just goes so well with this entire dish.

This is what your delicious mixture should look like now.

Drain your pasta. I have linguini here, but you can use any type you want. I prefer the wider noodles for a royal dish such as this.

Drop the pasta in to your mixture while it's still hot. This is of the utmost importance. The heat will melt the cheese and cook the eggs. Add you're 3/4 cup of reduce mixture at this point now too. Just pour it onto the pasta. Mix this up really well.

Serve with bread and a nice glass of wine. Just writing this recipe makes me hungry again. This is a dish I will definitely revisit very soon.