Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

1 lb. pasta of choice* 
12 oz. bacon, chopped into smallish chunks
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 lb baby spinach, chopped
4 eggs
1/2 to 3/4 C heavy cream
1C grated Parmesan cheese plus more for serving
1/4 tsp nutmeg

Put a large pot of water on to boil for the pasta.  While you're waiting for it to boil, fry up that bacon in a nice big skillet** until it's nice and crispy.  Drain on paper towels and let the pan cool down a bit.  Also, grab a large measuring cup (I use a 4C) and beat the eggs.  Add enough cream to measure up to about 2C.  Season with S&P, nutmeg and add the cheese. Set aside.

Once the pan has cooled a bit, pour out all but a couple of tablespoons of the bacon grease and add the minced garlic. Once it sizzles and is fragrant, add your spinach.  I turn off the heat at this point so it just barely wilts.  Leave it alone until the pasta is cooked, one minute less than the cooking time on the package for al dente.  Right before you drain the pasta, pull out about a cup of the cooking water and set aside.  

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet with the garlic and spinach.  Stir, stir, stir until all the noodles are coated in the loveliness.  Now is the tricky part...with the heat OFF, add the egg mixture and stir like crazy.  Turn the heat back on to low but DO NOT WALK AWAY, stand there and stir until the sauce starts to thicken.  If you go off and fold laundry or something you will end up with scrambled egg pasta, which isn't necessarily a bad thing...but not what we're going for here.  If the sauce gets too thick, add in some pasta water.  If it's too thin, cover the pan and let it think about what's its done for 5 or 10 minutes.  

Garnish with parmesan and lots of black pepper and eat.  Serves 2 adults and 2 greedy kids.

*I've used the traditional spaghetti, fettucine in the pic, kids favorite is fusilli or 'telephone cord' pasta.  This isn't exactly a traditional recipe but I add the spinach to sneak some veg into my kids.
**I use my favorite pan, a 5qt Le Creuset braiser (THANKS MOM!)

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