Man Pleasing Recipe… Eggs, Bacon, Cheese… Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Looking for a quick and easy dish for make for your man? Chances are you can’t go wrong with eggs, bacon, and cheese.
This oh so simple recipe was one the first dishes my first Italian boyfriend made for me many moons ago. Fast forward a few years later and a Roman friend made the best spaghetti alla carbonara that I had ever tried to date. She included an small piece of onion in her version. I’ve added it as optional because most food historians say it was not included in the traditional recipe.
Like all simple things I say pay extra attention to the selection for your ingredients (ex. use good bacon) and you’ll be well on your way to making on fantastic creamy bacon dish.
6.4 oz (0.4 lbs. /180 gr.) spaghetti
2 egg yolks (from two very fresh eggs)
3.5 oz (0.2lbs /100 gr.) guanciale, pancetta or bacon* diced
1/2 cup (45 gr.) pecorino or parmesan cheese*
1/4 tsp black pepper **
1/4 tsp salt + salt for pasta water**
1/8 of an onion (optional, keep the onion in very large pieces)
Serves: 2. Total cook time: 30 minutes.
1. Place a large pot of water on the fire. Once boiling add 1 heaping tbsp of course sea salt to water (about 1 level tbsp of table salt). Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package al dente time.
1a – Do not, I repeat do not break your spaghetti to get it to fit into pot. After about a minute or so, pasta will be sufficiently malleable, gently push into water the part that is still sticking out of water
2. While waiting for the pasta to boil, place guanciale and onion into pan.
3. Cook on medium heat until fat renders and the meat starts to become crispy.
4. Set aside guanciale in another container. Discard onion. (DO NOT DISCARD GREASE).
5. In another bowl mix together yolks, cheese, salt and pepper.
6. Drain pasta once cooked to al dente. Place pasta into a large bowl.
7. Pour warm grease onto pasta. Mix quickly.
8. Pour egg and cheese mixture onto warm spaghetti. Mix quickly and vigorously. The heat from grease and and pasta will slightly cook eggs.
8a – Do not cook pasta and eggs in a pan. This will result in scrambled eggs, not smooth and creamy sauce.
9. Mix in bits of guanciale. Check for salt and pepper.
10. Plate and Enjoy!
*It is said that this traditional Roman dish was initially made with pecorino cheese and guanciale. I realize that these ingredients are not readily available everywhere so I’ve included valid alternatives.
** As always salt and pepper amounts are indicative. Use more or less according to your personal preferences and the brand you are using.