Being alone has its advantages. It means I can eat whatever I want for dinner without having to cook anything special for him. I can have a pint of Ben & Jerry's or a bag of microwave popcorn for dinner if I feel like it (No, I...um...of...course...I would never do that...no, I never did it in my single days...no really).
However, I was poking around in my freezer, and discovered something really special, something that Sir Pickypants would never let me cook for him.
Rather than cook the stuff up and just eat it all at once, I decided to come up with a way to spread it out a bit. I would make Spaghetti Carbonara.
I'm not all that skilled at making carbonara, and I'm also not a purist. If I were a purist, I'd make a BLT and go buy some pancetta for the pasta dish. I also tend to like to doctor things. I know the classic recipe is just pancetta, eggs, and romano cheese, but goodness knows, everyone in the world has doctored this recipe to one degree or another. I've seen it in restaurants with onions, peas (NOOOOOO), ham, cream, and garlic among other additives, so if they can add a few extra ingredients, why can't I? I included the two things I love the most in my pasta dishes - red pepper flakes and garlic.
Getting the eggs to not curdle on the noodles is the big challenge. I was about 50% successful. I added some pasta water to the noodles before I added the eggs and when the eggs hit the water, they cooked, but they didn't do that so much on the noodles themselves. The next time I will likely temper the eggs with the water, or put the eggs in before I put in the water.
I had a small block of cheese and grated the whole thing. The recipe below calls for 1/2 of grated cheese, but this was my half cup.
Doing the hard part. Eggs into spaghetti. If I hadn't been taking pictures, would my eggs be creamier?
This could have had a little more saltiness to it. The next time I will use more bacon, more cheese, or just add a little salt to it.
Spaghetti Carbonara - My Way
1 pound spaghetti
4 strips bacon, cut in small pieces
1 Tbl olive oil
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch of red pepper flakes
4 eggs lightly beaten
Few good grinds black pepper
Grated cheese (I use romano because it's, you know, Roman, but some people just can't resist their parmiggiano. Use what you like. I told you I wasn't a purist)
Put a big pot of heavily salted water on to boil. Cook that spaghetti as the package dictates, or until you think it's properly al dente.
Meanwhile cook bacon bits until crispy and yummy. Drain and set aside. Try not to eat them all before the pasta dish is cooked. (Not that anyone ever does that. Nope. Not me.) Drain off some of the fat in the pan, but not all of it. Fat is flavor, my good friends, and we want some of that greasy, bacony taste in there. There should be a sheen on the bottom of the pan. Add the olive oil. Then add garlic and red pepper and cook till fragrant. Beat eggs with black pepper.
When pasta is cooked, add it to the pan and stir to coat in that bacony-garlicky-peppery oil. Working quickly, stir eggs into spaghetti. Be quick, really quick. Don't let those eggs scramble on your noodles.
Stir in cheese and whatever bacon bits you haven't snarfed and serve.
Come to mama!