Saturday, March 31, 2007

Spaghetti Carbonara with Brocollini

Spaghetti carbonara was introduced in this country by service men returning from the Italian theater in World War II. It's said the modern version became popular in Italy after U.S. troops began supplying Italians with eggs and bacon. Carbonara sauce dates to Roman times.

I like the dish because it's easily prepared from ingredients on hand in the home. The recipe adapts to about any smoked or cured meat in the fridge. All you need is any long, thin pasta, fresh garlic, any dry aged cheese and eggs.

I first prepared this recipe Thursday evening. I was looking for a quick dish. I found it in the April 2007 issue of Sunset magaine (page 144 in the Northern California edition).

The headline instructs the cook to "Toss and serve." Spaghetti carbonara is one of those dishes where the cook prepares each of the components ahead and tosses it together just before serving.


Substitute bacon for the pancetta if desired. Substitute bacon grease for olive oil.

2 eggs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided use
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more for garnish
1/4 pound pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch broccolini (about 6-7 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon salt
1 pound spaghetti

Put a large pot of water on to boil. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a large bowl and beat lightly. Add 1/2-cup grated Parmesan cheese to eggs. Add parsley and pepper to eggs and whisk to combine well. Set aside.

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to brown. Add garlic and broccolini and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add wine and cook until liquid is reduced by about half. Remove to a small bowl and set aside.

When water boils, add salt and spaghetti. Boil pasta until it is tender to the bite. Drain well and immediately pour pasta into bowl with egg mixture. Toss to thoroughly coat pasta with egg mixture (the heat from the pasta will partly cook the egg and melt the cheese). Pour pancetta mixture on top of pasta and toss to combine thoroughly. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

No comments:

Post a Comment