Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

I just had the most fun!  I got the chance to choose a recipe developed at the culinary school at Baltimore International College, make it, then blog about it.  I chose Spaghetti Carbonara - actually Bo chose it - and I served it to Bo and some friends.  

So for all the press it gets, carbonara isn't hard to make, actually it is kind of fun.  Very un-like me, I followed the recipe directions as written making no substitutions nor lightening it at all.  So it began with the cooking of bacon.  The one exception to the above rule I made was cooking the bacon then crumbling instead of chopping then cooking.

The bacon was the most time consuming part of the recipe.  I had all the other ingredients prepped before I began and I let the pasta cook at the same time, making the total prep time for this dish less than an hour!  

As you read the recipe below and prepare to make it, please please PLEASE promise me you will grate your own parmesan cheese – NEVER use the green can, and really, don't use the pre-grated kind at the deli for this recipe as the parmesan cheese is a key ingredient.  

One other change/substitution I made was to let the eggs sit at room temperature for two hours to help them mix with the pasta without scrambling.

I know, you are wanting to know how it tasted!  Ok, here goes.  I thought it was missing....something.  Now I did go light on the salt because of the bacon.  Once I added a bit more to my serving  it opened up the flavor a bit.  One of my friends thought it could use a touch of white wine and onion that is found in other recipes.  My other friend thought a touch of cream or milk would mix things up a bit. 

Bo, however, found it to be perfect!  I still recommend going light with the salt and allowing each guest to add as they desire.  Otherwise, this recipe was fabulous, rich and tasty, and I know I will be making it again, if for no other reason than to make a happy husband....

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara
Culinary School at Baltimore International College

1/2 pound bacon, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
1 pound fresh spaghetti cooked al dente
4 large eggs, beaten
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, fresh, grated
1 tablespoon parsley, fresh, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

1.) In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 6 minutes. Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels.
2.) Pour off all the oil except for 3 tablespoons.
3.) Add the garlic. Season with black pepper. Sauté for 30 seconds.
4.) Add the crispy bacon and the pasta. Saute for 1 minute.
5.) Season the eggs with salt. Remove the pan from the heat and add the eggs, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble.
6.) Add the cheese and re-season with salt and pepper.
7.) Mound into serving bowls and garnish with parsley.

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