|A simple combination of country ham or pancetta and pasta with cheese, this is a wonderful main dish meal, or even a late night snack!|
Spaghetti alla CarbonaraAlthough we have southernized this by suggesting the use of country ham in place of the traditional pancetta, yes, I understand that this is not a "southern" dish. We've covered that before, okay? Nonetheless, I absolutely love it and prepare it on occasion for that very reason. This is just enough for two pretty hungry adults, though to be honest, I can pretty much finish it off all by myself, if not in one sitting, at least over the course of a couple of days. Hey, don't judge. The Cajun isn't huge on pasta dishes, well... unless they are covered in meat sauce, so usually this is reserved for just me around my house.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a main dish meal, but it also makes a perfect midnight snack, which apparently is where it is very often consumed.
To avoid scrambling the eggs, I recommend having everything all measured out, lined up, and ready to go - like you do with a stir fry - so once the pasta is cooked you just stir in the cheese, seasonings, cooked country ham or pancetta and beaten egg very quickly.
Some people like their carbonara with romano, but personally, I prefer parmesean over romano cheese in this dish because to me romano is too strong of a flavor, but you can use either. A good Parmigiano-Reggiano is the best for this dish, though regular Parmesan will certainly do. I highly recommend going with the country ham or pancetta over regular old bacon if you can find it, but if you can't, bacon works perfectly fine. Either way ... just delicious!
Here's how to make some for yourself!
Recipe: Spaghetti alla Carbonara©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 15 min | Yield: About 4 to 6 servings
- 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon of the pepper grinder
- 1 tablespoon of dried parsley
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- 2 large egg yolks
- 1/2 pound angel hair pasta
- Big pinch of kosher salt for the pasta water
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup of chopped country ham or pancetta
- 1 large garlic clove, minced
Once it's time to put this together, you need to move fast so as not to have scrambled eggs on your hands, so best to have everything in bowls ready to go. Put a pot of water on to boil for the pasta. Meanwhile, mix together the salt, pepper, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano in a small bowl; set aside. Beat the egg yolks in a separate bowl; set aside. Mince the garlic. Cook the pasta to al dente, about a minute less than the package directions. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the ham or pancetta until crisp. Remove and set aside. Saute the garlic in the drippings just before you drain the pasta, but don't burn the garlic! Drain the pasta and immediately place it into the pot with the garlic; toss. Add the seasonings and cheese; toss. Remove the pan from the heat, add eggs and keeping stirring and tossing until everything is well blended. Serve immediately.
Cook's Notes: May substitute bacon or finely minced andouille sausage.
Raw Egg Caution: Although the hot pasta cooks the egg yolk, a caution is extended to children, the elderly and those with compromised immune systems, who may need to avoid dishes using raw eggs.
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