Sometimes you are in a rush. You find yourself at home in the evening and running around doing all the things that a person does during the post-work, pre-bedtime hours. And in my case, it was the week after labor day, the girls were back in school, and the Boy and I were trying to figure out our schedules again. How would it all work. We had the girls fed, and finishing a movie they’d started the night before (The Martian – not terrible for kids, since there’s only one f-bomb which requires explanation, a butt, and the rest is mostly science and thrill). But the boy and I found ourselves at this pre-bedtime hour hungry, and I did what I normally do in this situation.
Actually, that’s not right, because I didn’t throw a Trader Joe’s pizza in the oven. No – I opened the fridge and looked at what I had. It wasn’t a lot. A package of bacon from the corn thing. Eggs from making the cupcakes. A small amount of milk, carrots, spinach. Nothing exciting. And then I had a brainwave.
Carbonara. That’s what my mom used to make for an easy weeknight meal all the time. Some quick googling to find a recipe, and I was set. True carbonara doesn’t need a lot, and if you’re putting in cream, it’s not real carbonara. Putting the egg mixture in the spaghetti always scares me a little bit. What if the heat of the pasta doesn’t cook the egg? What if I let it sit in the colander too long and it cooled too much? Will the bacon still be warm? So the whole thing ends up being a delicate dance back and forth. There are a few things you can have ready so that the dance is a little less stressful. It will also help if you’re not trying to take pictures for a blog the way that I was. Maybe this would have been the time to have a photographic assistant or a sous chef, but when you are me and like to be in control, it’s not the most fun idea.
This carbonara on the other hand…this was a FANTASTIC idea, and one that I’ll probably be making again in the near future.
Yield: 2 servings (I halved the original recipe, and that’s what I’m putting here)
4 ounces spaghetti
1 large egg
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 slices bacon, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced (this is the original amount. More garlic is the right amount always)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (or dried!)
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; reserve 1/2 cup water and drain well.
In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Parmesan; set aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes; reserve excess fat.
Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.
Working quickly, stir in pasta and egg mixture, and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add reserved pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Details: Spaghetti Carbonara from Damn Delicious