Italian food is made with love and a few simple ingredients; it’s comforting and best of all quick and easy to make a nutritious and delicious meal in a bowl.
When you’re in the mood for a pasta dinner and you don’t have sauce on hand, not a problem, nothing will solve this as fast as diving into your pantry and fridge (because I’m sure you have all the ingredients already on hand) and whipping up pasta carbonara.
This is my version of pasta carbonara, it alters slightly from the basic recipe, but I guarantee you, it is heartily delicious.
1 pound dry linguini (or any long pasta like spaghetti or angel hair)
2 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
6 oz pancetta (or bacon), cubed
1 head of roasted garlic, mashed (or 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped)
1 large egg
3 large egg yolks
½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. freshly grated lemon rind
2 tsp. lemon juice from a fresh lemon
1/2 cup pasta water
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 handful of parsley, finely chopped
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil.
It’s important to salt your pasta water properly–it should taste like soup, not like sea water. Sea water, bad. Soup tastes good. Taste the water and adjust accordingly.
Once your water comes to a rolling boil, cook pasta according to package directions. I like mine al dente, so I decrease cooking time by 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, as water is coming to a boil–in a bowl, add egg, egg yolks, and beat well. Once beaten, add Romano and Parmesan cheeses. Mix well together. Set aside.
Heat olive oil in a deep skillet over MEDIUM HEAT, and add the pancetta (or bacon) until it is crisp, and fat is rendered. Once it’s rendered, toss in the garlic and cook garlic for 1 minute–enough to soften the garlic if using raw garlic.
Turn the skillet heat on LOW.
Once pasta is cooked, drain and RESERVE about ½ cup of the pasta water.
Immediately toss the pasta into the skillet, and coat the pasta well with the bacon and garlic.
Remove the skillet from the heat and add the lemon juice, and toss to coat the pasta.
Pour the egg/cheese mixture into skillet.
Important – whisk the egg mixture quickly into the pasta, but do not scramble the eggs, which is why you don’t leave skillet on the heat. The hot pasta will heat up the eggs.
While coating the pasta, slowly add some of the reserved pasta water (you may not use it all). Pour enough until you like the consistency of the sauce.
Once well coated, season with several freshly ground black pepper and sprinkle with lemon rind and toss evenly.
Serve in a warm plate or bowl, and garnish with chopped parsley and add more cheese if desired.
Once you have made this once, you will be able to do repeat the process by memory for another quick and delicious meal.