Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Plumbing Work - Day 2 - Old School Pasta Carbonara

This is is what our front yard looked like when Eric got home from work. Now normally, he gets all excited whenever theres a big power tool being put to use, and if it has an engine, even better. Yup, in some ways he never grew up. Go figure. So Eric gets home last night to a backhoe in our driveway, a 6 1/2 food deep trench along the side of the house and Charisse's rose garden in shambles. There are 3 or 4 neighbors in addition to the trencher standing around the edge of the hole saying things like "oooh thats not good" and the trencher says "I've never seen one this bad". When comments like that are being used for your house's exit pluming you know things are not good. When the trencher finally finished and left for the day, we got down to the business of dinner. We could have started earlier, but Eric insisted on keeping an eye on the work. Not because the workers needed supervising, but what guys could not stand by and watch a big yellow machine dig a big hole?

For dinner we put together one of our everyday dishes, a true Pasta Carbonara. Now most restaurants that offer a Pasta Carbonara are offering you a cream based sauce, more of a Alfredo sauce than a true Carbonara. Carbonara actually has no cream in it whatsoever, the sauce is thickened with egg yolks brought to temperature slowly, a time consuming and fragile operation. The tick here is to add the hot water slowly, so the eggs cook a little, and come up to near boiling without actually scrambling. Add the water to fast, you get breakfast, add the water too slow and it cools too much and won't bring the eggs up high enough. When done right, you get a creamy-cheesey textured pasta, without the cream, perfect for anyone who loves pasta! 

Pictures and recipe after the break...

Old School Pasta Carbonara
What You Will Need:

1 lb spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 lb pancetta (or bacon if you have it on hand)
2 cups of peas (frozen is fine)
5 cloves of garlic (minced)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 egg yolks
a big handful of freshly grated romano cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook pasta al dente, which means that it still has a bit of a bite to will continue cooking in the sauce.

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and add the pancetta, brown for around 2 minutes. Add in the wine and scrap up all the browned bits on the bottom of the skillet. Simmer. Add in the peas and cook for about 2 minutes, you don't want them to get too mushy.

In a small bowl, whisk the yolks and pepper. The next part is a bit tricky, you need to bring the egg yolks up to temperature slowly so they won't scramble. To do this, slowly ladle about 1/2 cup of the starchy pasta water into the yolks will constantly whisking them.

Drain your pasta and throw it right into the skillet with the sauce. Pour the eggs over the pasta and toss well coating all of the noodles. Keep tossing for about 1 minute. During this process, the eggs will cook and the pasta will soak up the liquid and become thick and creamy. Remove from heat, toss in the romano cheese, salt and pepper to taste and keep tossing until the cheese melts and everything is incorporated.

Top with more cheese if you are cheese-a-holics like us!! 

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