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Pasta alla Carbonara

Pasta alla CarbonaraThis quick and fabulous Italian egg, bacon and pasta dish makes a great busy day entrée—but there are few cooking rules to follow closely or you'll end up with scrambled eggs and bacon with pasta rather than a delectable creamy sauce coating the pasta.

Recipe Ingredients:

4 large eggs
1/2 cup whipping or heavy cream
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 pound bacon
1 medium white onion, chopped
8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
12 ounces spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, bucatini, or rigatoni pasta, cooked according to package directions (See Tips below.)
Extra freshly grated Parmesan cheese for sprinkling (optional)

Cooking Directions:

  1. In medium bowl beat together eggs, cream, cheese, parsley, salt and pepper flakes (see Tips below); set aside.
  2. In large skillet fry the bacon until crisp. Remove bacon; break up into bite-size pieces and set aside.
  3. Drain excess bacon grease, reserving 2 tablespoons in the skillet.
  4. Add onion to skillet and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened. Add mushrooms and cook for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes, stirring frequently, return bacon to skillet and continue to cook just until mixture is heat through. Remove skillet from heat.
  5. Immediately, while stirring, add egg mixture to skillet. Quickly add the hot cooked pasta, tossing to combine.
  6. Serve immediately topped with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese, if desired.

Makes 6 servings.

Tips:

  • Timing is important, as well as having the ingredients ready to use. Heat the water for cooking the pasta while the bacon is frying. Finish cooking the pasta while the onion is cooking and have it drained (DO NOT rinse as the pasta must be hot so that it can finish cooking the sauce), and ready when needed.
  • Do not prepare the egg/cream mixture so far in advance that it sits long enough to warm up to "room temperature", or the eggs will heat too fast and curdle when poured into the hot onion/mushroom/bacon mixture.
  • If mixture does curdle, don't fret, adding a little more cream will help to smooth things out, then simply toss until the cream is incorporated.

Nutritional Information Per Serving (1/6 of recipe): 476.9 calories; 44% calories from fat; 23.6g total fat; 201.2mg cholesterol; 877.2mg sodium; 438.9mg potassium; 41.1g carbohydrates; 2.0g fiber; 2.0g sugar; 39.1g net carbs; 24.3g protein.

Recipe and photograph by Hope Pryor; Copyright © 1999; property of CooksRecipes.com. See Terms of Use.