Carbonara is an Italian Pasta dish from Rome that is based on eggs, cheese, bacon (or pancetta) and black pepper.
While these ingredients are few and the dish sounds simple enough this dish has always been difficult for me to make.
Many times I have thrown this into the garbage because the egg mixture became scrambled. While the taste is still there it just doesn't look that appealing. Curdled eggs just don't look good.
The other day while I was making this I decided to try to add some of the hot pasta water to the egg mixture. It's a technique I use while I'm making Avgolemono Soup, a very tasty Greek egg and lemon soup to prevent the eggs from scrambling. I thought if it works with the soup, maybe this will have a chance.
I was extremely happy with the outcome. My dish was perfect! It was creamy, smokey from the bacon and peppery just the way it's supposed to be!
This is a rich hearty dish, full of flavor.
If your looking for a wine to pair with this try a White Wine. Try an Italian wine from the Roman Hills called Frascati. You'll love the way the wine and the dish compliment each other.
1/4 White Onion thinly sliced
4 slices of Thick Cut Peppered Bacon (Burgers Smokehouse preferred)
Pancetta may also be used in place of the bacon
2 egg yolks
fresh cracked black pepper
salt to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese-freshely grated
1/4 cup pecorino ramano - freshly grated
2 Tablespoons sweet unsalted butter
approximately 1 cup of reserved pasta water
1 pound spaghetti
In a skillet on medium heat cook the onion until transparent. Add the bacon and cook until bacon is cooked and fat is rendered but not crispy. Set aside.
Fill a large stockpot with water and bring to a rolling boil. Salt the water to taste. Add spaghetti and cook as instructed. Do not over cook.
While spaghetti is cooking beat two egg yolks with a fork and add the cheeses. This will make a very thick paste. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
While the spaghetti is cooking, using a ladle remove some of the pasta water and a little at a time add it to the egg mixture. You do not want the eggs to scramble. Keep adding the pasta water until your mixture is loose.
Drain the spaghetti, reserving some of the water.
Add the egg mixture to the spaghetti a little at a time until all is mixed in, toss with the bacon and onions. If too thick add a little more of the pasta water.
Top with some freshly grated cheese and another turn or two from the pepper mill and serve.