Monday, June 13, 2011

Recipe Re-creation: Spaghetti Carbonara

You know, there are some recipes in this lifetime one should know how to make.....pancakes from the box (check), grilled cheese (check), hamburger helper (check), tuna casserole (check), basic risotto (check), roasted chicken (ehhh....not so much...that is a post for another day)...and spaghetti carbonara (what?  did she just go from easy recipes to hard ones all of a sudden?)

Yes....all I can say is I like a challenge...just don't give me a raw chicken and tell me to cook it.....YET.

The sheer name alone--spaghetti carbonara--can send many home cooks into hysterics...maybe its the egg that may/may not get cooked (let me be the first--or last--to tell you that the egg DOES get cooked), maybe its the whisking while the egg is being poured in (else you will have scrambled eggs with pasta mixed in), maybe it just plain sounds complicated...

Whatever it may be, alot of cooks leave this one alone.  For years, I know I just sounded hard.

But, as a follower of food blogs, I'd seen it pop up a few times both here and here.  I've also witnessed my favorite chef of all time, Giada de Laurentiis make it and if Giada can do it, so can I (well, at least that is what I tell myself to help me gather the strength to even attempt this recipe.)   

I was afraid I would be taking pics of scrambled eggs alongside whole wheat pasta.  That I would be embarrassed by my first attempt at this recipe.  I didn't need to be.  The egg melted beautifully amongst the strands of spaghetti.  The peas and carrots were coated.  It wasn't too heavy at all.  I think a sprinkling of lemon zest would have brightened up the dish even more (though I didn't grab any this week at The Pig to even try it...hmm...another potential post...lemon carbonara???)

But, I was very thrilled it turned out well and now I'll be looking forward to actually making this again...for both my roomie S and my boyfriend who I shall call 1-2 (as in one two...his football number).

So, the ingredients you need for this simple pasta dish:

Bacon, peas (and in my case.....frozen peas and carrots cuz its what I had), salt, whole wheat spaghetti, 1 egg, and parmesan cheese

One word about bacon......mmmmmmmm bacon....oh, I was distracted...back to the story:

I freeze mine usually and then cut off what I need when I'm making recipes...I'm guessing that I probably cut off 2 strips worth....

and cooked it over medium heat, separating it as it thaws..........yes, I throw in the frozen chunks I cut off and stir around to cook evenly.....

Drain on a paper towel once cooked through.......

In the meantime, cook your pasta according to the package directions, using a dash of salt once the water comes to a boil.  Also, you'll need to slightly beat your egg.

Drain pasta and here is the fun part:  whisking the egg together with the pasta in order to create the sauce.  So, put the drained pasta back into your pasta pot and begin whisking.  I then pour the egg in with my left hand and continue to whisk with my right so the egg won't truly be stagnant in the sauce......I also add in the bacon and thawed peas/carrots (which I defrosted in the microwave)....and a half of the grated parmesan cheese to finish off the creamy sauce.  The whole whisking process took 3 to 5 minutes. 

I poured it all into a bowl and topped with the rest of my parmesan.


See ya'll soon~

Spaghetti Carbonara, serves 1


2 oz of whole wheat pasta (the serving is about the diameter of a quarter)
salt, about 1/4 tsp or so (to salt the water for pasta)
2 slices bacon
1 egg, beaten
6 oz (about 2/3 cup) frozen peas (or in my case, frozen peas and carrots)
1/4 to 1/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated

1.  Cook pasta as directed, salting the water for more flavor.
2.  While the pasta cooks, fry bacon over medium heat until crispy.  Drain on a paper towel and crumble.  Set aside. 
3.  Beat 1 egg in another bowl.  Set that aside.
4.  Drain pasta and put warm pasta back in the pot over, turning the burner to low heat.
5.  Begin whisking, and pour in beaten egg, constantly stirring, about 3 to 5 minutes until sauce is creamy and egg is cooked. 
6.  Whisk in bacon and cheese and veggies and half of the grated parm.
7.  To serve, put in bowl and top with more grated parmesan. 

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