Thursday, June 15, 2006

Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara
Serves four generously, or cuts in half easily.

1 pound spaghetti
1/4 to 1/2 pound thickly sliced bacon
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 large eggs
Black pepper
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for the table (preferably the fresh kind found in the bagged cheese section, not the dried stuff in a green can)

Cut the bacon crosswise into pieces 1/2 inch wide. Put them in the skillet and cook for about 2 minutes until the fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook about another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon just begin to get crisp. Do not get too crisp, otherwise they will not blend with the pasta.

Beat the eggs in the serving bowl, and add pepper.

Remove the garlic from the pan, and save for something else. If it looks like too much fat left in the pan, discard all but a tablespoon or two.

When pasta is cooked, drain, except for about 2 Tablespoons of cooking liquid. Let cool for just a minute. Then add to the egg mixture, stirring vigorously so the eggs don't scramble. The heat of the spaghetti cooks the eggs just enough and turns them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat and toss again. Add cheese and serve. Extra cheese on the table is always good.

(You can substitute 2 T of good quality olive oil for the bacon renderings if you want to healthy it up a bit).

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