Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Recipe: Pasta Carbonara

I've decided to start blogging a few of my favorite recipes to share with everyone. The recipe below is very simple and has become a staple in the Clark house. I'm ashamed to say it's a Rachael Ray recipe, but I have to hand it to the girl--this recipe doesn't disappoint! My recipe alterations are in red.

Pasta Carbonara


Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 pound rigatoni pasta
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan)
1/4 pound pancetta (Italian bacon), chopped (I use real bacon because I like the texture better; I usually cook the bacon first--drain the fat--and then add to the recipe)
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (use more if you want it spicy!)
5 to 6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large egg yolks
Freshly grated Romano cheese (I use parmesan simply because it's easier to find)
Handful of sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
Handful of finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, for garnish


1. Put a large saucepot of water on to boil. Add a liberal amount of salt and the pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes, garlic, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all the pan drippings.
3. In a separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup) of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to the pasta.
4. Drain pasta well and add it directly to the skillet with pancetta and oil. Pour the egg mixture over the pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg. Remove pan from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper, and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn the pasta until it soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Garnish with parsley and extra grated Romano.
If you end up trying this recipe, let me know how you like it! Bon app├ętit!