Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Spaghetti Carbonara

From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...A much longer day than anticipated led to a much simpler supper than I had planned last night. This recipe has never failed me and this version of pasta carbonara seems to end up on my table whenever I am pressed for time and need to serve something that is fast and easy, but also delicious. The recipe comes from Cook's Illustrated magazine and like most all of their recipe, it is flawless in its execution. So, if you like bacon, pull out that red gingham tablecloth, grab a bottle of Chianti, some crusty bread and a bagged salad and you can have a feast in minutes. The recipe is self-explanatory, so, without further ado, here is how this stellar version of pasta carbonara is made.

Spaghetti Carbonara..from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Cook's Illustrated magazine

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 pound bacon (6-8 slices), halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 3/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine or dry vermouth
3 large eggs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup Pecorino Romano cheese
3 small cloves garlic, minced
1 pound spaghetti
sea salt
ground black pepper
basil, chiffonade for garnish

1) Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set heatproof serving bowl on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. (I just microwaved my serving/mixing bowl for 5-7 minutes to keep it nice and hot.) Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in large stockpot.
2) While water is heating, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp. about 8 minutes. Add wine and simmer until alcohol aroma has cooked off and wine is slightly reduced 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Beat eggs, cheeses, and garlic together with fork in small bowl; set aside.
3) When water comes to boil, add pasta and 1 tablespoon sea salt; stir to separate pasta. Cook until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta for about 5 seconds, leaving pasta slightly wet. Transfer drained pasta to warm serving bowl; if pasta appears dry, add some reserved cooking water and toss to moisten. Immediately pour egg mixture over hot pasta, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or 3/4 teaspoon table salt; toss well to combine. Pour bacon mixture over pasta, season generously with black pepper, and toss well to combine. Garnish with basil and serve immediately. Yield: 4 to 6 servings.

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Alicia said...

This sounds so delicious! I am off carbs now, but am wondering is you could make this dish with spaghetti squash? Something to try once the weather cools off. Love the idea of the bacon!

David said...

Mary, This is one of our favorite pasta dishes! Can't go wrong with pasta, bacon and cheese... Take Care, Big Daddy Dave

A Sunflower Life said...

This is one of my favorite comfort food recipes. Sometimes I add a little lemon juice to brighten the flavors.

Arlene Delloro said...

Love Cook's Illustrated and this recipe,though I decrease the amount of olive oil. Probably one of my favorite pasta dishes.

Life's a shoe said...

oh wow, I am definitely trying this out! I love a good carbonara!

Anonymous said...

Mixing pasta and egg mixture directly in the hot pot you used to boil the pasta makes eggs cook a bit more.
Placing lid on pot for a minute or two helps as well.

Maggie said...

Agree that this is a great recipe, but you made one critical change to it that alters the outcome: you list 4 quarts of water for cooking the pasta, and C.I. recommends using only 2 quarts of water. This is important because the starchier water helps prevent the egg mix from curdling and also keeps the final sauce from tightening up too soon after it's cooked.

A small detail, but important for the finished product.

plasterers bristol said...

This sounds lovely. Going to give this recipe a go. thanks for sharing this.


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