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Friday, January 4, 2013

Pasta Carbonara

True pasta carbonara doesn't have any vegetables but I think they really add something.  Do I think it's making it a tad healthier??  Nah, I just like the way it tastes but I'll eat this with or without vegetables.  You can also tone down the red pepper flakes as I did the last time I made it for the kids but everything else is a MUST.  And, did you notice I said "kids"?!?  Yep, clean plate club for not only my kids but Jake and Serena too!!  Jake was picking around and I said, "that's bacon your skipping" and the picking around stopped.

Spaghetti Carbonara

3/4 box Thin Spaghetti
1/2 lb of Bacon ~ chopped
3 cloves of garlic ~ minced
1/2 T Red Pepper Flakes
1 Pepper ~ chopped ~ I use a variation of colors to equal one just because I think it's prettier
1/2 lb fresh Asparagus ~ broken into pieces
2 Egg Yolks
1 ladle pasta water
1/2 container Shredded Parmesan Cheese ~ I personally prefer Asiago but I had Parmesan handy and NO you canNOT use the grated green can stuff
Fresh Cracked Pepper

Fill a pasta pot with water and a LOT of salt. The water should taste salty, I'm guessing 3 T of salt~I've never measured, sorry.

In a pan, add your bacon, garlic and red pepper flakes. A few cranks of the pepper mill. Cook until bacon is good and crispy and nicely browned. Add peppers and stir around a couple of minutes. Add chicken broth and simmer a couple of minutes. You can turn off the heat and wait for the pasta to finish cooking at this point.
The water is boiling, add your pasta and give a stir. Throw your asparagus into the water and boil for about 2 minutes, should still have a little crunch left. Scoop the asparagus out and throw into pan with bacon and peppers, it stays floating on the top so it's not hard to get out with a slotted spoon. Turn the heat back on the bacon pan.

Your egg yolks are in a bowl, scoop out a ladle of water and pour into yolks. Quickly whisk because you don't want to the egg yolks to cook.

Your pasta should be done. Drain your pasta but don't rinse. Add pasta to the bacon, toss. Add egg yolks and toss again. Takes about 1/2-1 minute to thicken. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese. Toss again, taste to see if you need some more pepper and serve.

See all the salt in the bottom of the pan.
Here is your bacon, pepper flakes and garlic. I took this photo like this so you can see how much we're talking about. I also put a few cranks of fresh pepper on top of the bacon. It's about layering the flavors with this dish and I like the peppery taste.
Here's your vegetables ready to go.
The cheese, gotta have the cheese. Lots of cheese..yum!
See how crispy the bacon is, add the peppers and give it a stir.
Add your chicken broth and simmer for a minute or two. You don't want the peppers to get squishy. Remember you can turn off at this point and wait for the pasta to finish up.
See, told you the asparagus would float on top.

The egg yolks have been whisked with the pasta water and is waiting to finish the dish.
Throw your asparagus in.

Add the pasta, give it a toss. Add the egg yolks, give another toss and cook until thickened.
Add the cheese. Don't be cheap with the cheese. A couple more cranks of fresh cracked pepper.
I sprinkled red pepper flakes on mine since I cut down for the kids but if you don't want spicy.  Dig in!!

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