pasta carbonara

January 31, 2014 § Leave a comment


Last night, we decided to break out the KitchenAid pasta attachments (another winning gift from Santa, who is justsoverythoughtful) and make ourselves some fettuccini (using the recipe featured here).  Since the batch makes a ton of noodles (i’d say enough for around four meals ), we froze several of the little “nests” of noodles for use in future meals.  and for that, this little carb-addict will thank myself later.

naturally, wanting to make the most of our fresh pasta bounty, we spent some time noodling (yuk, yuk) over a preparation.  We settled on carbonara, because, as it universally agreed, bacon and bacon-like meats are delicious.  But we opted to leave out the cream and dispense with the peas and make it the way the Italians intended it.

Just one bite will leave you wondering what kind of horrible monster came up with the idea to dull down such a lush, silky and flavorful dish with a paste-like white sauce.

the stuff:

8 oz fettuccini *
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
4 oz pancetta (or bacon, or guanciale), sliced into strips **
1/2 cup dry white wine (e.g., chardonnay, pinot grigio)
yolks from 2 fresh large eggs AT ROOM TEMPERATURE.
2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan
2 tablespoons pecorino romano
salt and pepper
2 green onions, chopped (optional).

1. pull a couple of eggs out of the fridge and let them sit on the counter for a while to warm to room temperature. This step is important and will help to prevent the eggs from separating out/coagulating.   which would be gross.

2. set a pot of heavily salted water to boil.

3. over medium heat, saute the garlic and olive oil until fragrant and just beginning to brown (2-3 minutes).

4. add the pancetta/bacon/guanciale and saute, stirring regularly until the fat melts, the meat begins to crisp up and brown bits form on the bottom of the pan.  salt the pork.

5. add the wine to deglaze, scraping the bottom of the pan. Reduce the heat to low and let the wine cook off until it’s nearly evaporated. Set aside to cool down a bit (you want it to be warm, just not hot). If you’re bad at timing things (raises hand sheepishly), you can toss the whole pan in the freezer to help it cool more quickly. it needs to be cool enough to avoid scrambling your eggs.

6. place room-temperature egg yolks and grated cheese in a large mixing bowl. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. add no-longer-piping-hot pancetta.

6. Boil the pasta. If fresh pasta, this won’t take long at all, somewhere between 2-3 minutes. You’re waiting for everything to float. Reserve 1c. of the hot pasta water.

7. Drain the cooked pasta and add to the egg-cheese mixture. toss with kitchen tongs, adding in 1/2-1 c of the pasta water to help the egg-cheese mixture to coat the pasta.  salt and pepper.

8. add in onion if desired and return to sauce pan to quickly heat, continuing to toss consistently with your kitchen tongs.

9. serve hot with more fresh cheese to grate on top (because there is no such thing as too much cheese).

*if not using fresh/homemade pasta, it may make sense to start the pasta at the same time as the pancetta/bacon

** if you can find it, i hear that guanciale, (cured pork jowl) is the way to go. i couldn’t find it.

making pasta1


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