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Author Notes: Spaghetti Carbonara - Is there a more humble dish? Pasta with eggs and bacon. The ingredients are simple and inexpensive - yet when combined together - this dish of humble beginnings becomes a decadent, creamy indulgence. The recipe you will find here is the traditional Italian recipe that has been passed down for generations. No muss, no fuss, just the real deal. This is peasant food at its best. —Juliette
Serves 5 "hungry" adults
- 4 tablespoons soft butter
- 2 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 6-8 quarts of water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 lb. of spaghetti
- 8 slices of bacon
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- plenty of freshly ground black pepper
- In a small bowl, cream the soft butter by beating it against the sides of the bowl with a wooden spoon until it is soft and fluffy.
- In another small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks with a fork or whisk until they are well blended, then stir in 1/2 cup of grated cheese. Set both bowls aside.
- Heat a large ovenproof serving bowl in a 200 degree oven. At the same time, bring the water and salt to a bubbling boil in a large pot. Drop the spaghetti into the pot and stir with a wooden spoon to ensure that the strands do not stick together. Cook spaghetti over high heat, stirring occasionally, for 7 to 12 minutes (according to the package's instructions). The spaghetti should be "al dente" at this point.
- Next, fry the pieces of bacon in a skillet over moderate heat until crisp.
- After crisping the bacon, pour off half of the fat and stir into the pan the red pepper and then the cream. Stir gently to incorporate all of the ingredients.
- Bring the cream to a simmer and keep it warm until the spaghetti is done.
- After spaghetti is cooked, drain it toughly in a large colander lifting the strands with two forks, to make certain that all the water runs off.
- Transfer the spaghetti to the heated serving bowl, and stir in the creamed butter, tossing and turning the spaghetti to coat every strand.
- Then stir in the hot bacon and cream mixture and finally the beaten eggs and cheese, mixing everything together thoroughly. The heat of the pasta and other ingredients will cook the raw egg on contact. You can use pasteurized eggs if you are nervous about using the raw egg.
- Taste and season with salt and a generous couple of grindings of pepper. Serve the carbonara immediately with additional cheese, if desired.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner