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“Instructions for living a life: Pay attention. Be astonished. Tell about it.” ― Mary Oliver

Tonight’s dinner courtesy of Mario Batali

Got this in my email inbox by way of the GOOP newsletter… by way of Mario Batali’s iPhone/iPad app, “Mario Batali Cooks”. Since I’m a HTC EVO Shift user (I need the slide out keypad for all my texts/emails, do not have the patience for the typos that occur on a touchscreen only device), I can’t get the app, but am happy to get a few recipes from GP.

Tonight I decided to try out this one, worked like a charm, whole family devoured and super easy change up from the usual weeknight spaghetti or pasta dish.  Would definitely recommend this one and will add to my regular repertoire as well! Here’s how it turned out:

Spaghetti alla Carbonara  (Spaghetti in the Style of the Coal Delivery Guy’s Wife)

Serves: 4-6

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 5 ounces sliced pancetta, (about 8 slices)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 9 large eggs (6 whole eggs, plus 3 separated)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano, plus more for serving
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus extra for serving
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

1) Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot and add 3 tablespoons kosher salt. Drop the pasta into the boiling water.

2) Slice pancetta in to 1 inch strips. In sauté pan with extra-virgin olive oil, place pancetta and cook over medium-high heat until the pancetta has rendered some of its fat and is lightly browned. (my note: could use bacon if in a pinch, have done this before and it’s close enough in this instance — though I did have pancetta tonight. Wish I’d have made a touch crispier though, I was afraid to burn it, but think crisper is better to offset the generally softer texture of the dish)

3) Crack 6 eggs into large serving bowl. Separate 3 eggs, adding the whites to the 6 cracked whole eggs. Set aside the yolks in their shells on a bed of salt. (my note: I reduced number of eggs to 6 total instead of 9 total… that is a little egg-crazy to me, and tasted plenty good to me)

4) Whisk the eggs well. Add the grated Pecorino Romano and whisk together.

5) Stir pancetta and add small ladle of pasta water to slow down the cooking. Allow pancetta to cool for a minute and add another small ladle of pasta water.

6) Take a ladle of beaten eggs and stir it into the pan with the pancetta and pasta water. Working quickly, stir the egg pancetta mixture and as soon as the eggs start to thicken and set just slightly, add them to the rest of the room temperature beaten egg mixture. Whisk furiously for 30 seconds to combine the two mixtures.

7) When pasta is al dente, drain the pasta (reserving the pasta water). Add the pasta to the egg mixture, stirring and tossing well to coat approx 30 seconds. Stir in the Parmigiano Reggiano and mix well again. Add the pepper and stir along with another ladle of pasta water to loosen the sauce a bit and further cook the eggs. (my note: better work fast on steps 6 & 7, if not, won’t be hot enough to cook the eggs, so be sure to get everything set up well before pasta noodles are cooked, or you’ll have overdone noodles or underdone eggs, neither of which would be good.  I also added some sautéed spinach to garnish since it seemed to beg for some greens and the spinach did add a nice flavor)

8 ) Gently drop the 3 egg yolks into pasta. Add more of the grated cheeses and pepper on top. Bring the dish to the table. Just before serving, stir the yolks into the pasta so they will cook. Serve the pasta and finish with grated Parmigiano Reggiano and pepper. (my note: my husband made me take the 2 yolks off that I’d put on in pic above, rather than mix them in, as he wasn’t a fan of the texture it created when he ate this dish in a restaurant)

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This entry was posted on March 28, 2011 by in food and tagged , , , .
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