Spaghetti Carbonara for #SundaySupperPosted on Jun 3, 2012 | 31 comments
The theme for this week’s #SundaySupper is “Celebrate Your Heritage” and, in case my last name didn’t give it away, I am Italian-American (and Hungarian, and other stuff too, but mostly Italian). Although my family hails from the South of the boot, I couldn’t resist bringing Spaghetti Carbonara – a decidedly Roman dish – to the table. Although I didn’t grow up eating it, a family trip to Rome my senior year of high school was the beginning of a lifelong love affair. Today it’s something my husband and I make often if we have the ingredients on hand. It’s actually a specialty of my husband’s, and a dish I would venture to say he makes better than I.
I actually posted this recipe a long time ago, but I thought it deserved better photos and another look. Spaghetti Carbonara is a dish that tends to illicit strong feelings. When I first started making the dish, I followed a Mario Batali recipe that called for cream. I now know what blasphemy that is, and have discovered what a silky consistency you can get without any butter or cream. I do include onions and garlic in my version, which some may consider unholy. But I just love the added flavor they give to the dish.
Spaghetti Carbonara is very simple to make, but there are a few tips to keep in mind. Guanciale is the pork product of choice, but pancetta is a good back-up and bacon works just fine. The truth is I make it most often with bacon. I like to chop the bacon and fry it (as opposed to frying the strips and crumbling them), and then I add the onion and garlic to that. Everything gets imbued with the rich, salty flavor and becomes just slightly crispy. The cooked spaghetti is added to this and tossed vigorously. You have to remove the pan from the heat before adding the eggs because you don’t want it too hot, but it should be hot enough that the residual heat cooks them slightly. Add the eggs one at a time and use tongs to toss as vigorously as possible. This is probably the single most important step – you want every strand of spaghetti to be coated, and you want to avoid your eggs becoming scrambled. After this parmesan, salt, pepper, and a dash of the pasta water finish things off.
- 1 pound (500g) spaghetti (preferably DeCecco)
- 8 ounces (227g) guanciale, pancetta, or bacon, roughly chopped
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup grated Parmesan
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and set aside.
- Add the bacon to a large, hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and slightly crispy. Drain some of the fat if necessary.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
- Carefully transfer the spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat the pasta.
- Remove the pan from the heat and crack 1 egg over the spaghetti. Using tongs, vigorously toss the pasta until the egg is fully incorporated and the pasta is coated (if the pan is too hot or the spaghetti is not mixed vigorously enough you’ll end up with scrambled eggs). Repeat with the remaining two eggs.
- Add the Parmesan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. The spaghetti should be fully coated and have a sheen. If it needs more moisture mix in a little pasta water at a time until the desired consistency is reached.
- Serve in a bowl and top with additional grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.
Be sure to check out what everyone else is bringing to the table for #SundaySupper this week – we have quite an impressive and mouth-watering line-up!
- Scotch Eggs and Brotchen Rolls – The Meltaways
- Apple Kuchen – Mrs. Mama Hen
- Spaghetti Carbonara – Katherine Martinelli
- Slow Cooker Chicken Paprikash – Make Dinner Easy
- Potato and Spinach Knishes – The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- German Potato Salad – Magnolia Days
- Sausage and Broccoli with Orecchiette – Daddy Knows Less
- Chicken Enchiladas Suizas – The Weekend Gourmet
- Strawberry Tiramisu – Chocolate Moosey
- Egg Liqueur Cake – The German Foodie
- Rasmalai (Ricotta in Sweet Coconut Milk with Almonds and Pistachio) –Sue’s Nutrition Blog
- Mediterranean Couscous Salad – In the Kitchen With KP
- Rouladen – Midlife Road Trip
- Lemon Balm Roasted Chicken and Rum Raising Cupcakes with Maple Frosting – What Smells So Good?
- Keftikas (Turkish Meat and Leek Patties) – The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- Croque Monsieur with a Béchamel sauce – The Daily Dish Recipes
- Momma’s Meat Pie with Poutine Sauce – Momma’s Meals
- Polish Rustic Plum Tart – Comfy Cuisine
- Drop Scones (Scottish Pancakes) – Cositas Bonitas
- Jamaican Cornmeal Pudding – The Lovely Pantry
- Borscht Shooters – Cookistry
- Shepard’s Pie – Big Bear’s Wife
- Parsnip Cakes – Mama’s Blissful Bites
- Roasted Curried Vegetables – Hot Curries & Cold Beer
- Portuguese Mussels and Shrimp in a Chorizo Sauce – Family Foodie
- Kalbi Steak Kimchi Grilled Cheese – Damn Delicious
- Wine pairings for all the recipes – ENOFYLZ