I know it is not Monday, but I took yesterday off for Labor Day!
When I was in college, we had an exchange student from Italy stay with us for a couple of weeks. One night she made us dinner, and this is the dish she made. I particularly remember this meal because she accidentally used sugar instead of salt to season the dish, and didn’t realize it until after it was finished. She felt so terrible, but I’m sure I would have done the same thing cooking in someone else’s kitchen in Italy and not knowing the words for things!
This dish is essentially pasta that is seasoned with garlic and bacon, and then enriched with eggs to make a simple sauce.
This is something that I make when I want dinner fast, cheap, and filling. I use Emeril Lagasse’s recipe, which he calls “Late Night Pasta,” but it is his version pasta carbonara. His title is a little more descriptive of when you might want to make this dish – when you are tired and hungry, and don’t have much in the house!
Easy Pasta Carbonara (based on Emeril Lagasse’s Late Night Pasta Recipe)
1 pound spaghetti
8 slices bacon, cut into 1-inch strips
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons thinly sliced garlic
1 to 2 tablespoons chopped onions
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
1/4 to 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, as desired
- Bring a large heavy pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook, stirring to separate the strands, until the pasta is al dente, 7 to 8 minutes for dry pasta.
- Reserve 1/4 cup pasta cooking water and then drain pasta in a colander. Return the pasta to the pot.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp.
- Add the garlic, onions, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant and the garlic is soft but not brown, about 1 1/2 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs and reserved pasta cooking water, stirring quickly until the mixture thickens, but the egg does not scramble.
- Divide the spaghetti among plates or large shallow bowls, sprinkle cheese to taste over the top of each serving, and serve immediately.