Thursday, January 13, 2011

Fettuccini alla Carbonara

Carbonara is one of my favorite pasta sauces. It's a cream sauce made without cream, and has a beautiful depth of flavor from the egg and bacon. I have made carbonara sauce numerous times, and have failed to produce a creamy, smooth sauce during most attempts. But these failed attempts were not for nothing; I am happy to say that I have now mastered carbonara! I created the recipe below out of a combination of many recipes and techniques, and it is by far the most fool-proof way to make this creamy, rich sauce. Enjoy!

Fettuccini alla Carbonara
The BEST way to make this creamy and amazing pasta!
Serves 4

1 pound fettuccini pasta (or spaghetti)
2 T olive oil
6 slices bacon (or 4 oz. pancetta), chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 sweet onion, finely chopped
2 large fresh eggs
2 T. milk
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl. Add the milk and a pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook the pasta until al dente. Set aside 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water (dip a mug into the pot while pasta is boiling).

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a big skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and saute for 2-3 minutes until crisp. Add the garlic and onion and saute in the fat for another minute.

Drain the pasta and add to the large skillet. Toss for a minute with the bacon, onions and garlic until it is well coated in the oil.

Slowly add half of the reserved hot pasta water to the egg and cheese mixture while whisking. This will temper the eggs and raise their temperature so that they will not scramble when added to the hot pan.

Remove the skillet of pasta from the heat and SLOWLY add the egg mixture while stirring. This is done off the heat to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Feel free to add more reserved pasta water if the sauce seems dry.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe by Sarah Lang

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