Food & Drink
I'm Chris - or Christopher - or Mr. Dean - or Master Christopher - or just plain Sir. I'm a self-professed foodie. I love to cook and I take great pleasure in all things edible. My husband and I are relatively new to Portland, Oregon and are enjoying our culinary explorations of the area!
Food is NOT just fuel!
Food is NOT just fuel!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
This is one of my favorite comfort dishes. I've made many different versions of spaghetti carbonara over the years, but this one is certainly my favorite (not counting the Spaghetti Carbonara we had in Florence, Italy at a tiny little street cafe in an out of the way alley not far from the flat we rented - our first meal in Italy). The dish completely came together for me after watching Mario Batali separate the eggs and serve the dish with the whole egg yolk on top.
The dish is traditionally very creamy and cheesy, but I wanted to up the flavor impact. So my version contains a good amount of garlic, and the addition of some red pepper flakes at the end. And I generally use diced pancetta for this dish - but *gasp* there was none available at Whole Foods yesterday. The bastards. Luckily, there are tons of artisnal bacons out there, so I used a really nice smoked slab bacon that I've had before, and it worked out just fine. And of course, I used duck eggs (which are surprisingly much harder to separate - I literally had to pinch off the whites from the yolks) - and I doubled them up. I usually put just one yolk on top, but I wanted to use 4 egg whites in the mix, so each plate got 2 yolks.
My husband often doesn't clean his plate (that's what the dog is for!) - but when I make this, he usually licks the bowl clean. :) Just saying.
1 lb. spaghetti (prepared according to package minus 1-2 minutes cook time)
4-6 oz Pancetta, cubed (or 4 slab-cut slices of good bacon, cubed)
1 sweet onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup cream
1/2 - 1 cup grated Pecorino cheese
4 eggs (duck or chicken, whatever you like)
Red pepper flakes
In a large pan, heat up a small bit of olive oil. Add the pancetta, bacon & garlic all at the same time. Add a pinch of salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, until the pancetta renders most of its fat and the onions become translucent. Add the cream and cook for a minute. Add the just under-cooked pasta and toss everything together. Remove from the heat and add cheese and pepper (I added about 2 1/2 Tbl.) and egg whites. Stir through completely - the eggs will break beautifully throughout the dish. Pile into pasta bowls, and top with egg yolks - sprinkle red pepper flakes over the top if you would like a touch of heat. When ready to eat, simply break the yolk and let it melt through the dish.