Pasta alla Carbonara - literally translated is"Coal Miner's Spaghetti" in Italian. Carbonara is a classic Italian dish that is quick, relatively simple and requires only a few key ingredients; pasta, cured pork, eggs and cheese.
Timing is everything when it comes to making the perfect carbonara. Toss the hot pasta with the raw eggs and cheese, add a bit of the starchy cooking liquid and stir vigorously until a creamy sauce is achieved. This is the tricky part - the pasta has to be as hot as possible, but removed from the heat or it will scramble the eggs. If the pasta isn't hot enough, the eggs won't be cooked and you will be left with a soupy mess. Salmonella is never a popular guest at a dinner party.
Have a hot date coming up? Pull this one out of your bag of tricks and you are going to look like a culinary rock star. Move over Mario Batali!
Pasta alla Carbonara with Mushrooms
(serves 2 -3)
3 strips center cut bacon, chopped
2 cups sliced button mushrooms
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano or Pecorino, plus more for garnishing
small handful of chopped parsley
1/2 lb. spaghetti
a couple of grinds of pepper
Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain, reserving a bit of the starchy pasta water. Meanwhile, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and cook onion and mushrooms until mushrooms are golden and onions are softened. Add garlic and cook 1 or 2 more minutes. In a small bowl mix eggs, Parmigiano and a splash of pasta water. Off the heat, toss the hot pasta (the pasta has to be very hot for this to work) with the egg mixture, tossing together until the sauce becomes creamy. Add the mushroom mixture, parsley, and lots of freshly ground black pepper. Taste and add salt if it is needed. Arrange on serving bowls and garnish with freshly grated Parmigiano
Tags: Pasta, Carbonara, Main, Bacon