We love Italian food and cook a lot of it in our own way. Today's dish is spaghetti carbonara or spaghetti alla carbonara. The sauce has neither basil nor tomatoes in it. Instead the flavor comes from the pancetta, prosciutto, bacon or a combination of those and black pepper, Parmesan cheese and an egg. It is unique and delicious. —Tom and Anita Morgan
prosciutto (or pancetta or bacon) cut in 1" strips
spaghetti (or any thin pasta i.e. linguini, etc.)
Mix the egg and ½ cup of the Parmesan cheese thoroughly. Reserve at room temperature until needed.
Boil the spaghetti in oiled and salted water until cooked al dente; about 8 to 10 minutes. While this is cooking, start the sauce. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain, dry and set aside at room temperature until needed. Reserve some pasta water in case it is needed to thin the sauce.
Put the bacon fat and olive oil in a 10 inch sauté pan and heat to medium. Put in the sliced prosciutto and red pepper flakes and sauté until prosciutto just starts to brown, about 2 to 3 minutes. When the prosciutto has cooked about 2 minutes, add the garlic slices and cook for 1 minute more.
Turn the heat to low, add the peas and cooked and dried spaghetti and mix into the oil and prosciutto until the spaghetti is warmed thoroughly, about 2 minutes more. Keep stirring so nothing burns or overcooks.
Move the pan from the hot burner to a cool burner and stir in the egg and Parmesan mixture and combine thoroughly. Keep stirring so that the egg doesn’t fry. If this mixture is too dry add a little reserved pasta water until the sauce is the consistency that you like.
Place the spaghetti carbonara on warmed plates. Garnish with a few kalamata olives and/or some Italian parsley either chopped or in sprigs. Serve with fresh grated Parmesan, salt and fresh ground black pepper.