Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients:

  • 8 oz Pasta (1)
  • 1 Whole Egg
  • 2 Additional Egg Yolks
  • 3/4 oz grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1/4 oz Pecorino Romano (2)
  • Fresh Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 oz Bacon (3)

Directions:

  1. Bring a salted pot of water to a boil.
  2. As water is boiling, slice bacon into bite size pieces.
  3. In a heat proof bowl (4), add egg, additional yolks, and grated cheese. Season heavily with fresh ground pepper. Mix to combine.
  4. Add pasta to water, stir to make sure no pasta sticks. Stir every couple minutes, and cook to your desired doneness. (5)
  5. Right after adding pasta to water, cook bacon on medium heat until desired doneness, 5-7 minutes (6). Drain pieces on a paper towel, and transfer rendered fat to a small bowl.
  6. Pour a small amount of fat into your egg mixture, anywhere from 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon depending on how bacon-y you want the dish to be.
  7. When pasta is cooked, transfer to bowl with egg mixture with a slotted spoon. It’s ok if water travels with the pasta into the egg mixture. Don’t drain the remaining water from the pan.
  8. Stir the pasta vigorously, for at least a minute, to emulsify the egg mixture.
  9. If the sauce is too thick, add extra water and keep stirring. If too thin, put the bowl on top of the pot of water, using the steam to heat the sauce from underneath. Keep stirring until creamy, adding splashes of pasta water to help emulsify.
  10. Serve the pasta, top with bacon, and grate more fresh parm on top. A nice fresh crack of black pepper is a great addition here as well.

Notes:

  1. I used whole wheat penne rigate, which has ridges. Those ridges help catch the sauce and lead to each piece being saucier and creamier. Feel free to use any pasta you’d like, including spaghetti, or even better bucatini.
  2. In my video I couldn’t find Pecorino so I just used Romano. This cheese is much stronger and sharper than the Parm. You can use any ratio of these two here, as you can see I did 3:1 Parm:Romano. I suggest getting both cheeses and trying them individually before this dish. Then try small pieces in combination with each other to find your ideal blend.
  3. Guanciale is traditional, and pancetta is typically second up. I used thick cut bacon because that’s what I had at home, and I like it. Feel free to use any variation of pork, or none at all. You can even add chicken at the end for some protein.
  4. This bowl might be used as a “double boiler” later, so you want a bowl that’s both heat proof and also larger than the pot of water you cook the pasta in.
  5. I don’t like al dente pasta. I like it smooth and easy to chew through. In traditional carbonara, the sauce gets added to the pan and they cook together, so you’d take the pasta out 1-2 minutes before it’s cooked. Here, we’re stirring in the bowl, without heat (unless needed later), so cook pasta to it’s desired doneness, as it most likely is finished cooking.
  6. Some like it crispy, some chewy, some in between. Total personal preference here. I like crispy, so I also withhold the bacon until the very end and top the dish with it. Keeps it crispy.

© 2020 Mitchell Schwartz

 

2 Responses

  1. Brian Emerson says:

    I was looking forward to this! Saw it posted on other social meeting. Please keep them coming. I think I’ll add Chicken to my attempt.

Comments are closed.