Spaghetti Carbonara with a Twist
April 25, 2011 • Pasta & Pizza
Maybe it’s because my husband and I were alone for Easter yesterday. Or perhaps it’s because my son who is living in New York texted me a picture from his Easter brunch with friends, dining al fresco at Spina. Who knows what drove me to put together this recipe, but it is completely satisfying.In Italy, you’ll see some classic spaghetti dishes on the menu: carbonara (with pancetta and a creamy sauce thanks to an egg yolk), cacio e pepe (a simple dish that pairs cheese and pepper), and aglio e olio (that classic combination of garlic and olive oil. This dish sort of puts the three together, and it starts with spaghetti (I used whole wheat but you can use regular if you wish).Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. In the same pan, heat up the cooked bacon pieces with a little olive oil.Add the pasta to the bacon and toss with toasted garlic breadcrumbs……chopped parsley……grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, the reserved pasta cooking water, and a little more olive oil.It’s important that everything is very hot at this point because you are going to add a raw egg yolk to the dish, and the heat of the pasta and the sauce will cook the egg yolk while it thickens and flavors the sauce.Simply place an egg yolk on top of each dish right as you serve it……and let everyone stir their own egg yolk into the pasta. The egg yolk and pasta water make it just barely creamy, the breadcrumbs add great crunch, and the bacon, parsley and cheese all elevate the flavor. Treat yourself to this twisted carbonara next time you feel you need a little spoiling!
- 4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 4 slices bacon cooked crispy and crumbled
- ½ cup toasted garlic breadcrumbs
- ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- ½ cup minced fresh parsley
- 2 whole egg yolks, not broken
- salt and pepper to taste
- Cook pasta until just barely al dente, then drain, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Add oil to pasta pot and reheat bacon until sizzling. Remove from heat and toss with cooked pasta, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and cooking water. Divide between two plates and top each with a whole egg yolk. Serve immediately and let each person stir in the egg yolk to create a rich sauce.
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