Quick and easy, pasta carbonara.

It's summer, the days are hot and oftentimes the nights are too. Beautiful sunsets and plenty of time in the water, giggling children and panting puppies. So much fun to fit into the day that come dinner time... there are nights when I want nothing more than to have something simple and easy to throw together, prepped and on the table in 20 minutes or so.

I have a few recipes in my repertoire that fit that bill but the one I find I turn to the most also feels very indulgent and rich for the very little time I have to put into it. My husband and toddler gobble it up and each time I make it I get the flavor balance just a little more perfect. Sometimes cooking garlic gets a little tricky, especially if I have to run after my little guy in the middle of it.

What is this dish you ask, well its pasta carbonara and you'd be surprised just how easy it is to make and just how many of the ingredients you probably readily have on hand.

Pasta Carbonara
1 lb gluten free pasta (I've used almost every variety; spiral, rigatoni, spaghetti, fettuccine... and I like them all with this recipe)
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 lb pancetta or bacon, chopped
1 pinch red pepper flakes
3 or 4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 large egg yolks
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare pasta as directed on package, you'll want it al dente. (You will need a ladle full or two of the pasta water so do not drain it all off right away).

In a large skillet, medium heat. Add your olive oil and pancetta or bacon and brown, then add garlic and cook until soft and aromatic, now add the pepper flakes and cook for about two minutes. Now add your wine and let it do its magic, get all that yummy stuff off the bottom of your pan.

Beat the egg yolks and a couple of ladle fulls of the pasta water to it, mixing it together, this will temper the eggs and keep them from scrambling when added to the pan.

Drain pasta and add it directly to the skillet with your pancetta/bacon mixture, pour your egg yolks over the pasta and toss rapidly to coat without cooking the egg. Remove everything from the pan and add most of the cheese, black pepper to taste and a tiny bit of salt. Continue mixing the pasta until the cheese is melted and sauce thickens. Top with the rest of the cheese and garnish with fresh parsley if you like. You're ready to serve.


Linda said...

You're right. That's a perfect summer meal. Pasta, bacon, garlic, cheese...yum!

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Gina said...

I love Carbonara! I like how you use the pasta water to keep the eggs soft. I'll have to try that next time!