I made really delicious spaghetti carbonara last night. I combined a few recipes to meet my tastes. It was very quick and simple to make. Just make sure that you purchase good quality meat and cheese as it makes or breaks the dish.
If you make a salad or serve bread to accompany this, it could serve up to 6 people. But I don't care for salad or bread and I eat a lot of carbs so this recipes serves 4 mes. I would say in general this recipe serves 5.
1 lb of spaghetti (can be whole wheat or you could even substitute fettucine - whatever is your preference)
1/2 cup cream (I used heavy cream b/c it was cheaper at Garden of Eden but you can also use light)
1/4 lb panchetta, chopped into tiny cubes (have them cut it thick in the store). Some people prefer to use bacon for their carbonara, which is fine. However, it does add a more smoky flavor to the pasta and the dish has a different feel to it.
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped finely
3 extra large eggs
1 cup fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and more for garnish
Timing on this needs to be coordinated b/c the hot pasta should be ready to go into the meat as soon as you are done cooking it. This will ensure that the eggs get cooked in the hot pasta, etc.
Boil a pot of hot water, add salt and pasta. Stir occasionally.
While pasta is cooking, put olive oil in either a large saute pan or a dutch oven. Cook panchetta and onion over medium heat for about 7 minutes until both are soft and aromatic. Add garlic and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Add cream and cook for 1 minute.
While the panchetta and onion mixture is cooking, beat the eggs in a bowl.
By now your pasta should be ready - quickly drain pasta, reserving some of the pasta water in case you want to modify the sauce (optional). Add the hot pasta to the meat and onion mixture, stir to coat the pasta. Then add the Parmigiano-Reggiano and quickly stir. Then immediately add the eggs and stir the pasta until everything is well distributed. If you want to thin out the sauce, you can add the reserved pasta water here a little bit at time until it reaches your desired consistency. I had no use for the pasta water but everyone is different.
Serve pasta in little nests if you are fancy and own tongs. Or if you are like me and cook only for yourself, serve plopped in a bowl b/c presentation doesn't really matter. Add black pepper and extra cheese and voila! Delicious!