I wanted to eat my leftover soup for dinner tonight, but it had developed a gross skin of fat and a slightly intense odor. After I dried my tears (literally), I settled on making one of my favorite quick comfort food dinners: pasta carbonara. I first encountered a recipe for this dish while reading one of Ruth Reichl’s fantastic memoirs.
Please don’t be afraid of the raw eggs. When you toss them with the hot pasta, the eggs cook and become an amazing, creamy sauce. I add a little more garlic than she does and have altered a few of the quantities, but the recipe is essentially hers. It’s incredibly easy to make; you can literally make the sauce while your pasta boils. This serves 2 generously.
- 1/2 box spaghetti
- 4 slices of bacon (preferably thick cut, but since we live in the ghetto, we got Super A brand), cut in 1/2″ wide pieces
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup Parmesan (the best you can find)
- 3 cloves of garlic (2 whole and peeled, 1 diced)
- black pepper
1. Bring salted water to a boil. Add your pasta and cook according to the package directions.
2. Sautee bacon for about 2-3 minutes until the fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and sautee for another 2 minutes or so.
3. Crack your egg into a bowl large enough for serving the pasta and beat with a fork. Season generously with black pepper. Set aside.
4. Add the diced garlic to the pan and sautee for another minute or two. By now the bacon should be cooked through. You can remove the whole cloves of garlic at this point. Reserve them for rubbing on some crusty bread, if you like.
5. Drain the pasta and pour over the egg, tossing the pasta vigorously so it’s coated by the eggs. Add the cheese and continue to toss. Finally, add the bacon (fat and all). Mix well.
Serve with a salad, some grated parmesan, and maybe a nice crusty bread.