Recipe: Carbonara

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

When I was in college, my friend "JJ" explained to me how chickens lay their eggs. I was bowled over by his revelation. The eggs we eat are actually unfertilized chicken eggs! I always thought hens needed roosters for that.

My level of amazement the first time I cooked Carbonara (last Friday, 25 July) was close to that of my "chicken-egg" experience.

Here is the recipe:

1/2 cup bacon bits
1 whole egg
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
450 g spaghetti

  1. Cook the spaghetti. Follow the instructions in the package. Add a bit of salt to the boiling water.
  2. Fry the bacon bits. (I used Purefoods bacon bits. Less than P200/kilo) Set aside. You can place it on a paper towel to remove the excess oil.
  3. Mix the whole egg, egg yolk, parmesan cheese and pepper in a big bowl. Continue stirring until you achieve a creamy consistency.
  4. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it. Don't rinse! You want the pasta hot enough to "cook" the egg. You don't want to suffer from salmonella poisoning.
  5. Add the spaghetti to the egg mixture. Don't add all the spaghetti at once. Keep on adding and mixing until you get the spaghetti to sauce ratio you want. I ended up using only 2/3 of the spaghetti I cooked.
  6. Mix in the cooked bacon bits.
It's so easy! I never knew it was so simple. I wanted to cry.

How was my Carbonara?
"C", my official taster (you can never trust your husband to give you an honest opinion about things like cooking and sexiness), gave me the thumbs up while she was finishing my Carbonara. I guess that means it's good.

History and Origin of my Beloved Pasta Dish (from Wikipedia)
The dish was obscure before the Second World War, and it is not present in Ada Boni's classic book La Cucina Romana, which was published in 1927. It is thought to have originated in the hills outside Rome, not in the city itself. Its popularity began after the Second World War, when many Italians were eating eggs and bacon supplied by troops from the United States. It also became popular among American troops stationed in Italy; upon their return home, they popularized spaghetti alla carbonara in North America.


BagLove said...

Always use "real" bacon bits for maximum taste and cholesterol!

Mrs. G said...

For the record, I used real bacon bits fried to crispy perfection.

Batibut said...

wow! it really is simple. i usually add creme to my carbonara and use mushrooms instead of bacon. :D

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