Spaghetti Carbonara is the perfect meal when you are pressed for time and didn’t have time to do grocery shopping. Have you ever had any of those days when you open the fridge and just couldn’t come up with any ideas for dinner? I had no time to do groceries this past weekend and I only had the basics in the fridge. On days like this, I like to open my cookbooks and browse through recipes to get inspired for a quick dinner. I opened “My Perfect Pantry” by Geoffrey Zakarian and came across “Spaghetti Carbonara”. Perfect! I had all the main ingredients!
3 tbs olive oil
3 oz slab bacon (cut into 1/4-inch pieces)
3 oz pancetta (cut into 1/4-inch pieces) *
1 pound spaghetti
1 small onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, chopped
4 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley *
* I had no pancetta nor parsley but I had an 8 oz package of bacon and frozen peas.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, bacon, and pancetta (I used bacon only) and cook, stirring, until the fat has rendered and the bacon and pancetta begin to crisp, about 3 minutes. Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook until al dente. Add the onion and garlic to the skillet and cook until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Pour off all but about 3 tablespoons fat and add 1 cup pasta water. Bring to simmer and cook to reduce by half to create a sauce.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks with 1/2 cup of the cheese. Temper the egg yolks by slowly whisking in about 1/2 cup pasta water.
When the pasta is done, remove with tongs and add to the sauce with the parsley (I used 1/2 cup of frozen peas). Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce. Remove from the heat and pour in the egg yolk mixture, tossing vigorously to cook the yolks and coat the pasta, without curdling the sauce. Taste for salt; it may not need any as the bacon and cheese are salty. Add the remaining 1/2 cup cheese, toss again, and serve immediately.