Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Pasta Carbonara

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I've heard through the grapevine that some people are not a big fan of Rachel Ray, but I absolutely love her recipes. They are very inventive and flavorful in my opinion. This one is no exception. She said this is the dish that won over her boyfriend (now husband) and I can see why. It's absolutely delicious. And still so easy!

I know I only post recipes that I truly enjoy and would want you all to try out for yourselves, but I'll have to say this is one of my favorite recipes that I've tried out recently. I had never tried carbonara before because the idea of egg in pasta weirded me out. However, I found out that all it did was make the sauce extra creamy and delicious. You can't even taste the egg. This will be a new go-to recipe in my book!

The little teaspoon of red pepper flakes gives it a lot of heat, though. I personally enjoy that, but for those of you who are more sensitive to it, I'd suggest only using 1/4 or 1/2 teaspoon to start. You really can't go wrong with this, no matter what modification you make. Hope you enjoy!



Ingredients

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound pasta, such as spaghetti or linguini
  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or bacon, chopped (about 5 slices)
  • 1 tsp. red pepper flakes (less if you don't like a lot of heat)
  • 5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Put a large saucepot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8-10 minutes.


Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta or bacon. Brown pancetta for 2 minutes or bacon until crispy. Add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add chicken stock and stir up all the pan drippings.


In a separate bowl, beat yolks. Add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water and stir immediately. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.


Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta/bacon. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add cheese and lots of pepper. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese.


Source: Adapted from Good Housekeeping

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