Pasta Carbonara is a classic, hearty pasta dish. The dish utilizes refrigerator staples, so it’s great dish to make when your fresh ingredients are running low or out. I love making this dish on a cool evening (it’s almost always a cool evening in San Francisco). This is a great comfort food.
Prep/Cook Time: 20 minutes
1 lb. dried pasta, spaghetti is traditional, but you can use a short pasta if you prefer
3-4 oz of pancetta or bacon, cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 eggs, beaten
1+ cups Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese, freshly grated
Salt, for the pasta water and a bit for the sauce, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
Put 6 quarts of water on to boil. Add 2 tablespoons salt to the water once it reaches a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook according to the packaged directions.
While the water boils and the pasta cooks prep the sauce:
Heat your largest skillet over medium heat. I use a 6qt sauté pan. You could also use a Dutch oven if you do not have a large enough sauté pan. Add the 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the oil is heated, add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook until crispy. Add the minced garlic and sauté. Watch to make sure it does not burn.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in about 1 cup of freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Salt and pepper the eggs. When the pasta is almost cooked take a ladleful of pasta liquid and whisk it into the egg mixture to temper the eggs.
Once the pasta is done, drain the pasta, reserving some liquid.
Add the pasta to the pancetta and garlic and mix to coat the pasta with the pancetta fat. Take the pan off the heat and pour in the egg mixture, constantly mixing to prevent the eggs from curdling. You want to add the egg mixture while the pasta is hot to heat the eggs, but you do not want the eggs to scramble. Add a bit of pasta cooking water if the pasta looks a bit dry.
Top the pasta with additional Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and serve immediately.