Hubby, Kiddo and I have been talking about our next family vacation. We want to return to Florence (on the Oregon Coast). There is something about the rugged Oregon coast, with its wild beauty that is unparalleled. Oregon’s beaches are clean and open to all. Unlike some of the western beach towns, Florence is not one of the more popular destinations for tourists, and that has allowed the town to retain some of its simple beauty. The town is situated between miles of sand dunes and the Siuslaw River. One of my favorite spots is the Siuslaw bridge across the mouth of the river. Oregon has some of the most spectacular bridges in the country, and Florence is no exception. Thinking of Florence brings to mind another Florence – in Italy. And that makes me yearn for Northern Italian dishes with their rich sauces.
One of my favorite Spaghetti dishes is Carbonara. So much so that I have several recipes that I have numbered to keep them straight. Hence the title of this post Spaghetti Carbonara 1. This is by far the easiest and least expensive of my recipes, using thick slices of good old American Bacon rather than the more traditional, more expensive pancetta.
One word of warning – while the egg yolks are “cooked” by the heat of the bacon drippings and hot pasta, this might not be the best dish for young children or the elderly due to food sensitivity.
1 Lb Spaghetti Noodles
6 Bacon Strips, diced.
4 Egg Yolks
1 Cup Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
½ Teaspoon Kosher Salt
¼ Teaspoon Black Pepper
½ Cup Fresh Italian Parsley (flat-leaf parsley), chopped
In a large pot, bring salted water to a full boil. (Remember, pasta loves to dance about – so make sure you give your pasta plenty of “dancing” room).
While water comes to a boil, chop parsley and make ready Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan works best. (Note: Shredded and grated are not the same thing – grated cheeses are much smaller and blend easily into a sauce. A microplane cheese grater is the best tool for the job). Set the parsley and Parmesan cheese aside in small bowls until ready to use. The Parmesan Cheese will integrate best if at room temperature. DO NOT use Parmesan Cheese straight from the refrigerator.
Use clean kitchen scissors to cut bacon into pieces. Set aside until ready to fry.
When the water has come to a full boil, add pasta and cook al dente according to package directions, about 10 minutes. While the pasta is boiling, cook up the bacon.
In a large skillet, fry chopped bacon until crisp, about 10 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel to drain using a slotted spoon. Reserve the drippings and keep warm.
In a large bowl, whisk egg yolks. While whisking constantly, add 2 tablespoons of the bacon drippings to the yolks. Add half of the Parmesan cheese to the egg yolks,
Working quickly, add drained pasta to egg mixture while the pasta is still steaming hot. Toss quickly to coat pasta with egg and cheese mixture. Add salt, pepper, bacon and toss again. Add remaining Parmesan Cheese for one final toss. Garnish with parsley and serve at once.
Tips: Try to time the bacon and pasta so that the drippings are warm and ready when the pasta is drained. If not, simple sip the wine and keep drippings warm until pasta is finished. This is easiest when working with a partner who knows your rhythm