I’ve always liked Pasta Carbonara, but for the longest time I was scared to attempt it. What should be a silky, flavorful delight could easily become scrambled eggs and bacon over watery pasta. Gross. A few months back I decided to face my fear and went in search of a foolproof Carbonara recipe. I was pleased to find one by Tyler Florence – his recipes have never let me down, and this one was no exception! I’ve made some tweaks to suit my tastes – but Tyler’s cheese to egg ratio and cooking method are key. This is a quick dish (as quick as boiling water and cooking pasta) that packs a ton of flavor.
Get all of your ingredients out and prepped while you put a pot of water onto boil. This dish goes together quick, and you don’t want to be beating eggs and grating cheese when you should be done and eating. So start by whisking the eggs, cheese and pepper together. This will make your sauce – just set it aside for now. Dice the bacon, mince the garlic, shell your peas (just kidding – pop them in the microwave to thaw them out), and rough chop the parsley. The water should be boiling now – add in the pasta with about 2 teaspoons of salt. Undercook the pasta just slightly – it will finish in the sauce.
In a heavy bottom pan that’s big enough to fit the whole pound of pasta, cook the bacon until it is crisp. Remove it with a slotted spoon and pour off some of the fat – you want to keep about 1 – 2 Tablespoons in the pan. The next few steps happen quickly, so make sure this isn’t your first time reading through the instructions. Add in the garlic, peas and parsley and cook for about one minute. Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the water (I dip a measuring cup in before I pour the pasta into the collander). Dump the pasta into the hot oil (with garlic, peas, and parsley) and toss it around to coat. Cook the pasta in the oil (stirring constantly) for 2 minutes.
Almost there! Take the pot off of the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture over the hot pasta. Stir while you pour, and keep stirring until the sauce coats the pasta and starts to thicken up. If it gets too thick, pour in a little of the pasta water. Oh my – you forgot to keep some!? Throw the whole thing out and start over….or just add a little plain water – no one will ever know the difference ;)
That’s it! A little hectic for a minute, but truly a breeze! When you dish it out, sprinkle the top with some bacon, extra cheese, and a few grinds of black pepper.
- 1 pound Linguine
- 4 ounces bacon, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup green peas (thawed if frozen)
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
No short version here. I can’t in good conscience give you this dish without details for making it successful!