Since we’re still coping with the effects of the egg accident, we still have 3 or so eggs worth of liquid in the container… and I was jonzing for some pasta… and cheese… and porky goodness –
So tonight it’s Linguine Carbonara.
Yeah, yeah… I know “raw eggs in pasta just doesn’t rattle your Rhubarb”, but it does mine. So if you have aversions to… or want to rant about the unsanitariness of eating raw eggs… or just want to sell your own particular brand of crazy here…. go away. I can’t be bothered.
Here’s the thing – the eggs aren’t raw. Adding the egg mixture to freshly drained pasta cooks it very gently – creating an almost creamy, custard coating for the linguine. It should completely coat the strands and not puddle in the bottom of the bowl. If, for some freakish reason, it has… then you did it wrong.
Traditional carbonara consists of:
- Some Cured Pork Product – I’ve used a combination of super fatty bacon and Capicola because I prefer the deep cured flavor of it.
- Grated Parmesan Cheese – I tend to use a mixture of Parmesan and Romano… once again, deep flavors
- Black Pepper – I’ve also added parsley and some fresh basil out of the garden
- And, depending on who you ask / or believe – cream.
The cream smooths out the sauce and give it a silkier texture. But, knowing our food challenges here at Turtle Creek, I can’t do cream. I’ve found that by adding a teaspoon of mayonnaise and a tablespoon of the water the pasta cooked in (a little seasoning from the salty water, and starch that washes off the pasta in the cooking process) it gives us that same, if not better, creamy factor.
Plate Fodder Carbonara
Serves 2 to 4
2 Handfuls of Spaghetti, Fettuccini, or Linguine
1 Teaspoon Mayonnaise
1 Tablespoon Pasta Water
3 Slices Capicola – Julienne
1 Medium Onion – Diced
2 Rashers Bacon – Diced
1 Tablespoon Chopped Parsley
3 Leaves (or so) Fresh Basil (Julienne)
1/2 Cup Grated Parmesan / Romano Cheeses
Tools of the Trade:
Large Sauce Pan
Small Saute Pan
Cook the Pasta per the package instructions. While the pasta cooks, saute the onions and bacon together over medium heat until the bacon is rendered but not brown – and the onions are translucent. In the mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, herbs and pepper. When the pasta is done, Take 1 tablespoon of the cooking water and add to the egg mixture. Quickly drain the pasta and place back into the pot. Turn the burner off and pour in the egg mixture and the onion mixture. STIR vigorously over the cooling burner for about 3 minutes – or until the sauce becomes creamy and adheres to the pasta completely. (it may take slightly more than 3 minutes but keep stirring and folding the pasta until it happens).
IF it did not come together before the pot cooled, you can turn the burner to LOW and continue to stir until it comes together – just be cautious that you do not let the custard curdle.
Top with a little extra grated cheese and serve it up.