Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara

Why am I fat?  Because I eat this.  This is unadulterated sin in a bowl.  It casually dismisses any regard for healthy eating, and laughs in the face of heart healthy cuisine.  Bacon?  Yes.  Eggs? Sure!  Heavy cream?  Lots of it!  Cheese?  The more the better!

Seriously, this is not something you should eat on a regular basis, because you will die.  But it is so simple and so crazy delicious that once or twice a year it is a real treat.  The best thing is that you don't need any fancy exotic ingredients, and that this entire dish comes together in about half an hour.

I have had this dish prepared before where the ratio of eggs to cream was not right and it tasted like spaghetti with scrambled eggs... Yuck.  My solution is to increase the cream content and add another final step to thicken the sauce in the skillet.  The result is a luxuriously rich and silky bacon-infused cream sauce loaded with flavor.

You can add chopped parsley at the end to give a flash of green to an otherwise all white bowl, and to assuage your guilt of what you are about to consume, but I prefer to face the decadence of this dish head on, with no illusions.  If there ever was a dish that embraced the "delicious food that's probably bad for you" philosophy, this is it.  Go ahead, eat it, you know you want it!  For penance, you can eat celery for a week afterward and it will still be worth it.

Spaghetti Carbonara
serves 4-6

5 slices bacon
1 medium onion diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb dried spaghetti
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano

Fill a large pot with water, cover and place over high heat, covered.  While waiting for pasta water to boil, fry bacon over medium high heat in a large skillet until crispy. Remove bacon from pan, and blot on paper towels.  Add onions to bacon fat in pan and saute over medium heat until translucent.  Add garlic to onions, stir and remove pan from heat to avoid scorching garlic.

Once water boils, add a generous palm of salt to the water and cook spaghetti according to package directions for al dente.  While pasta is cooking, combine eggs and cream in a large bowl, whisk until well combined.  Season egg mixture with salt , nutmeg and pepper.  When spaghetti is done, quickly drain and add hot pasta to skillet and quickly toss to coat pasta with bacon fat.  Then immediately add hot pasta to bowl with egg/cream mixture, toss to coat.  Let pasta absorb sauce for 10 minutes, tossing occasionally.  After 10 minutes, return pasta to skillet and cook over medium heat until sauce thickens and is no longer runny (about 2-3 minutes).  Add parmesan cheese and crumble bacon into skillet, toss to mix.  Serve hot with additional parmesan cheese. Garnish with chopped parsley if you feel guilty.

1 comment:

  1. Ozzy - I made this for Glenn, Kiki, and I last night. It rocked!!!