06 December 2007

Pasta Carbonara

It's been a carbonara kind of week. You know that week: when you're baking like a fiend and doing holiday cards and running everywhere shopping and have a million engagements? And tired of inhaling fast food or scrounged up leftovers while standing over the sink? A week like that calls for a nice carbonara - warm, easy, homey, and comes together in the time it takes to boil a pot of pasta.

This recipe is from Ruth Reichl's memoir Garlic and Sapphires. Better known as the Editor-in-Chief of Gourmet (as well as restaurant critic), some don't know just what a talented storyteller Ruth Reichl is, and what a fascinating life she has lived thus far. I really do suggest you check out her memoirs, all three of them - great reads, all among my favorite books ever read. Start with Tender at the Bone. And a big thank you to my darling Beah, who put R.R.'s books on my radar.

Back to the recipe: oh so comfy, I love a good pasta carbonara. Insanely simple, quick, yet also mouth-wateringly delicious. Note to first-time carbonara makers: stir that mixture quickly after adding the pasta to the eggs! The heat of the boiled pasta will cook the eggs but you certainly don't want any curdling; you want a nice, creamy sauce.

Pasta Carbonara
(from Ruth Reichl's Garlic and Sapphires)


1 lb. spaghetti
1/4 to 1/2 lb. thickly sliced bacon
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 large eggs
Black pepper
1/2 c. grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for the table

Cut the bacon crosswise into pieces 1/2 inch wide. Put them in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes until the fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook about another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon just begin to get crisp. Do not get too crisp, otherwise they will not meld with the pasta.

Beat the eggs in the serving bowl, and add pepper.

Remove the garlic from the pan. If it looks like too much fat to you, discard some, but you're going to toss the bacon with most of its fat into the the pasta.

When it is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti cooks the eggs and turns them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat and toss again. Add cheese and serve.


Tartelette said...

One of my favorite dishes in the world! Looks absolutely delicious!

Sarah said...

Ruth's books are on my Christmas list--I can't wait to read them!

Patricia Scarpin said...

Nemmie, that is the perfect way of ending an exhausting day!

Cakespy said...

I love Ruth Reichl, so have been curious about this recipe. It looks awesome. I have never had Pasta Carbonara though!

Lucy R. E. said...

love love love Ruth Reichl's books. and when I saw the picture of this carbonara on tastespotting, i thought "hmm...i've been wanting to try Ruth's recipe; wonder if this is similar" :)

Cris Rome said...

Hi! I'm a fan of your blog, from Rome, Italy. Where Carbonara was born.
May I say a cuple of things...
You not only eed parmesan, but also pecorino.
And they both need to be grated and mixed in the eggs before putting the pasta in.