Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Everyday Italy: Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Kevin and I went to Italy in 2009.  More about that when I actually get to Italy in my regular country cooking.  While we were there we had lots and lots of good food.  Amazing food.  One thing that I particularly remembered was Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

Fast forward to our first Valentines Day as a married couple and I wanted to make something delicious.  I looked through my favorite cookbook and found a recipe one for that same Italian dish.  Boom.  Decision made.  It was really good and became a regular item on the menu. (Unfortunately the chocolate cake that Kevin made on that Valentine's Day got knocked off of the counter by the cat.)
I highly recommend this cookbook!
Before each recipe it has a long description of what the recipe is and how they came to this version.  They try a lot of different things and then taste test them all.  I kinda want that job.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara is basically spaghetti noodles in a bacon, cheese, and egg sauce.  The process is really what I find cool.
First fry the bacon then cook it in some wine.  This version uses white, but apparently there is some debate as to what is the most authentic.
While cooking the noodles, mix the cheeses, eggs, and some garlic.  You don't cook this mixture at all.  Once the noodles are done, you mix this in as soon as they are drained.  The heat from the noodles cooks the egg enough to eat.
It is really really delicious.  I have always liked my noodles drenched in a red sauce, so this was a delightful and exciting change.

The first time I made it I found it difficult to get everything timed correctly, which is important in this recipe.  The noodles need to be hot at the right time!  It definitely gets easier over time and I have got the whole thing down to about 20 minutes now.  A nice yet fancy weeknight meal.  Totally doable international food.

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