Friday, August 14, 2009

Spaghetti a la Carbonara

One mouthful and I was addicted. I can't believe I'd never had it before Wednesday - of course I'm talking about that silky-smooth-richness that is carbonara sauce.

The venue: Primi Piatti.
The diners: myself, TheHusband and my parents.
The verdict: OhMyGoodnessIHaveBeenMissingOutWhyDidn'tAnyoneTellMeAboutThis?

Of course I had to find a recipe to re-create this classic in my own kitchen. A google search rendered loads of recipes for Carbonara, some using cream (not traditional), some wine (a must), some cooking the eggs slightly, others not at all. Amateur Gourmet's recipe seemed the easiest to follow and posed the least risk of accidentally scrambling your eggs - a horror that befalls many when making Carbonara. I did adapt it slightly - most notably adding spring onions to the mix. Not sure how traditional that is, but that's how I fell in love with them at Primi, so spring onions, in my mind at least, were essential.

So here's how I made mine last night:

Spaghetti a la Carbonara

Serves 2 (people in love with each other & Carbonara)

250g (1/2 lb) spaghetti
1 tbsp olive oil
125g (4 oz) bacon, chopped

1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup dry white wine
4 spring onions, chopped
2 eggs, at room temperature
50g (about 1/3 cup) grated parmesan cheese
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
a handful of French chives

1. Bring salted water to the boil in a medium-sized pot. Add spaghetti,
lower heat and simmer for 8 - 10 minutes, until cooked to your liking.
2. In a seperate frying pan, cook bacon over high heat in the olive oil until crispy. This should take about 3 - 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for just a minute more to release the flavours, then immediately add 1/2 cup of white wine. Cook over medium-high heat until all the liquid has evaporated (another about 5 minutes).
3. Add the spring onions to the bacon, together with the rest of the white wine (1/2 cup).
Lower heat and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.
4. Meanwhile, break the eggs into a big bowl, whisk lightly. Add parmesan and whisk again to combine.
5. By this time both the bacon and spaghetti should be done. Working quickly, drain your spaghetti (but reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid) and immediately add to the eggs. Stir fast for a minute or two until the sauce thickens. Add bacon as well as the reserved cooking liquid to loosen the pasta. Snip a handful of french chives into the pasta, season with a little bit of salt and lots of black pepper and serve immediately.

Prepare to become addicted...

Nutritional info (Per Serving) : Calories 844.4 Total Fat 26.7 g Saturated Fat 9.3 g Polyunsaturated Fat 2.8 g Monounsaturated Fat 11.8 g Cholesterol 323.0 mg Sodium 1,279.5 mg Potassium 500.1 mg Total Carbohydrate 100.6 g Dietary Fiber 3.1 g Sugars 0.0 g Protein 46.3 g

Good source of: Selenium 76.0 %, Calcium 38.5 %, Phosphorus 38.5 %, Riboflavin 32.3 %, Folate 30.0 %, Thiamin 20.5 %


Homemade Heaven on August 17, 2009 11:13 am said...

Comfort food at it's best.

Marisa on August 17, 2009 11:16 am said...

Agreed! Already craving this again... Luckily I still have half a packet of bacon left.

kc_froglady on August 18, 2009 12:17 am said...

OMGosh this is the most delicious pasta ever! I can't believe you hadn't had it before! I am glad now you have found it!

(from Swap-Bot)

melydia on August 19, 2009 4:14 pm said...

OMG I'm drooling.

elrieta on August 20, 2009 3:02 pm said...

New favourite pasta!

Marisa on August 20, 2009 3:03 pm said...

Ek stem saam met jou Elrieta - dis my nuwe fave ook!

cucinone on October 11, 2009 10:21 am said...

This is a fantastic dish and a true classic from Lazio. Take a look at this version which is slightly more traditional:

polkadotcupcake on March 15, 2011 5:00 pm said...

I found it! this looks doable, even by idiotic egg-scrambling me :)

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