Saturday, March 14, 2009

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Rich, but absolutely delicious. Got it from my one of my America's Test Kitchen cookbooks. Of course.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
Serves 4 to 6

Add regular table salt to the pasta cooking water, but use sea salt flakes, if you can find them, to season the dish. We like the full flavor they bring to the carbonara. Note that while either table salt or seas salt can be used when seasoning in step 3, they are not used in equal amounts.

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 lb bacon (6 to 8 slices), slices halved lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 large eggs
3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan (about 2 ounces)
1/4 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano (about 3/4 ounce)
3 small cloves garlic, minced to paste or pressed through garlic press
1 lb spaghetti (I used capellini, because isn't it always better?)
salt and ground black pepper

1. Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position, set heatproof serving bowl on rack, and heat oven to 200 degrees. Bring 4 quarts water to rolling boil in large stockpot.

2. While water is heating, heat oil in large skillet over medium heat until shimmering, but not smoking. Add bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned and crisp, about 8 minutes. Add wine and simmer until alcohol aroma has cooked off and wine is slightly reduced, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cover to keep warm. Beat eggs, cheeses, and garlic together with fork in small bowl; set aside.

3. When water comes to a boil, add pasta and 1 tablespoon table salt; stir to separate pasta. Cook until al dente; reserve 1/3 cup pasta cooking water and drain pasta for about 5 seconds, leaving pasta slightly wet. Transfer drained pasta to warm serving bowl; if pasta appears dry, add some reserved cooking water and toss to moisten. Immediately pour egg mixture over hot pasta, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sea salt flakes or 3/4 teaspoon table salt; toss well to combine. Pour bacon mixture over pasta, season generously with black pepper, and toss well to combine. Serve immediately. Sit back and enjoy the sensation of your arteries clogging ;)

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