Friday, January 28, 2011
Spaghetti alla Carbonnara is pasta with bacon and eggs, but it is so, so much more. Though it is spaghetti, bacon and eggs, some Parmesan cheese and a bit of black pepper -AND THAT'S ALL, the total effect is infinitely beyond the sum of these ingredients. Granted, this is not the sort of thing I want to eat more than once (or twice) a year, but now is the season when I like to make this pasta dish. The daylight hours are increasing and our chickens are beginning to lay again, and this seems to me a fitting way to celebrate farm eggs. We still have bacon from last fall in the freezer, and our almost-spring damp and cool weather means filling and comforting foods like this are welcomed at the table. Our almost-spring weather also means I'm beginning to work outside more, and this dish takes no more time to make than the time needed to cook the pasta. To make this, I put on a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, for each person (there was three of us last night), I dice 2 slices of bacon and set out a large pasta serving bowl. In a small bowl, I beat 1 egg, with a bit of black pepper and 2 T. Parmesan cheese. When the water comes to a boil, I add 1/4 lb. pasta per person. I cook the cut bacon separately in a caste-iron skillet, and try to time it so the bacon is done just as the pasta is, and not too crispy. I either leave the bacon in the skillet, or remove it to large bowl with 1-2 T. of the bacon fat (or drain and use olive oil). When the pasta is done al dente, I drain it and immediately put it into the large pasta serving bowl with the bacon and oil, pour in the beaten egg-cheese mix, tossing it well so the hot pasta and bacon just barely cook the eggs, melt the cheese, and coat the pasta. I let it set just a couple minutes, and then serve it with French bread.