California Central Coast Recipes
If you like eggs and black pepper like I do, this is the pasta for you! The name "Carbonara" comes from the black pepper which is supposed to resemble coal dust. The origin of this recipe is originally from the Rome area of Lazio, but there are probably as many variations as there as towns and cities in Italy since the ingredients are basic and found everywhere.
I prefer to use a low sodium bacon (or even occasionally pancetta) with a sweet onion to get a really mellow taste. Unlike the traditional recipe, I also add a little cream with the eggs to help emulsify the mixture to get it to gently cook when added to the hot pasta and not turn into scrambled eggs!
If you can find organic free-range eggs with dark yolks in your local farmer's market, this is a pretty pasta to serve guests. Regardless, this is a really simple but elegant light pasta entreé for dinner or even brunch.
Preparation time: 10 minutesCooking time: 10 minutes
2/3 cup White Onion , chopped
3 ounces Low Sodium Bacon , diced
2 large Eggs
1/2 cup Cream
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese , grated
1/2 teaspoons Black Pepper , freshly ground
2 Tablespoons Italian Parsley , chopped
1 In a large covered (preferably stainless steel) saucepan or stockpot, heat the the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook until lightly browned and the fat is rendered.
2 Add the chopped onions and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until the onion is softened and sweet.
3 When done, remove the pan off of the heat, cover and put aside.
4 In the meantime, put a large stockpot of hot water on the stove and bring to boiling. Add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water, stir and then add the pasta. Stir the water again and bring to a boil and cook the pasta to al dente or as directed on the package.
5 While the pasta is cooking, in a small bowl, add the eggs and beat a few seconds to break up the yolks. Add the Parmesan cheese, cream, parsley and pepper and continue to beat a minute or so until the mixture is smooth and all the ingredients are well dispersed.
6 When the pasta is done, remove it from the water, drain well and add the hot pasta directly to the pot with the cooked bacon and onions. Toss the pasta to mix in the onion and bacon, and while tossing, add the egg mixture. Toss well to coat the pasta. The pasta should be well coated and creamy.
7 The hot pasta will cook the eggs, but if you are little squeamish about using raw eggs, you can put the pan over low heat as you toss the pasta and give it a little extra cooking time.
8 Serve on individual dinner plates, add a little chopped parsley on top for a garnish if you like, and serve immediately.
Serve with a dry while wine like a Chardonnay or a Sauvignon Blanc.