Friday, May 10, 2013

Easy Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

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I'm sure I would be the worst and least sought after food blogger of all time, if that's where I put my focus. Or even if I don't. For starters, I don't measure anything. I mean, I do if I'm trying a new recipe for the first time. Otherwise, I'm all about the chop-and-drop. Second, I apparently cannot be bothered to take decent (or almost ANY) pictures of my creations. So what am I doing with this post? I really couldn't say, but let's just agree that you have been warned.

Spaghetti carbonara is a dish I don't make very often but I absolutely love. It's simple, and it's rich, and it's yummy. A lot of times if you order this at a chain restaurant, they don't use actual carbonara sauce. Maybe they don't want to worry about the eggs? I don't know, but if I wanted alfredo sauce, I would have ordered alfredo sauce...

Anyway, here is my version:

Set a pot of water to boil for the pasta. When ready, salt the water and cook spaghetti al dente to instructions (staying on the firm side).

While you're waiting for the water to boil, heat up a large heavy-bottomed skillet medium to medium-high. Chop an entire package of bacon and drop into the pan. You can use whichever kind of bacon you want. If you use something like turkey bacon, be sure to add some olive oil to the pan first.

Next chop and add a small onion (or more, if you like onions) to the bacon. Occasionally give the mixture a brisk stir. Once the bacon starts getting a more crisp texture, add about 8oz of frozen peas. At this point, I also add some freshly ground black pepper. Continue with the occasional brisk stir.

(*note I do not drain the bacon grease - I hope that doesn't gross you out. I promise you won't notice it in the end!)

When the pasta is done, drain and set aside, but not before reserving at least a cup of the cooking water.

In a small bowl, whisk two large eggs. Add a few tablespoons of the reserved water to temper (warm up without cooking) the eggs, and whisk some more. Then set aside. You'll understand soon enough why you want these warmed up a bit before throwing them into the mix!

Add the spaghetti to the skillet with the bacon mixture, along with about a cup of the reserved pasta water and half a cup of chicken (or vegetable) broth. Go ahead and throw in half a cup or more of grated parmesan now too. Stir until the noodles are well coated and the bacon is distributed fairly well.

Now this is important: REMOVE FROM HEAT. You can leave it in the same pan; I usually pour it all into a very large bowl. Now pour you eggs over top and stir well. Be sure everything is coated well and you're not creating chunks of scrambled eggs. I know it seems somewhat counter intuitive, but the eggs will cook.

Serve immediately. Then tell me you loved it.

What are some of your favorite dishes? Do you hate using actual measurements for cooking too? I always measure exact for baking, but cooking seems to call for a little more artistic license in my kitchen. Also, do you hate me for not bothering to take an "after" picture? I kind of regret forgetting that part, too. 

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