Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Pasta Carbonara = Happy Belly

So my wife is out having a nice dinner with her friends and left me to my own devices.  After getting the rug-rats in bed and reading up a little bit on the next meaty project my stomach started a'grumblin'.  Not just a little bit...more like in a Little Shop of Horrors "Feed me Seymour" kinda way.  

At this point I realized all I'd eaten for dinner was a handful of chocolate chips and a spoonful of peanut butter.  Not the healthiest of choices I realize but I was hungry...don't hate.  Thinking what would be quick, easy and tasty I realized I had all the makings of one of my favorite meals in the fridge and no wife around to browbeat me about cholesterol and sodium.  Yeah me!  Skipping over to the fridge I pulled out two eggs, about two cups of cooked pasta, some rendered bacon fat, a chunk of parmigiano-reggiano and some bacon odds and ends I'd been saving.  

As my pan heated up I nuked the pasta with a splash of water to heat it up and soften it and ground the bacon odds and ends in the food processor to crumbles.  After the pan was hot I tossed in a couple teaspoons of bacon fat to get the party started and cooked up the bacon crumbles.  When everyone was golden brown and delicioso I added the pasta and tossed it about until everything was hot and coated in bacon love.  Now the trick with this dish is you don't want scrambled eggs, the eggs should just barely cook from the heat of the pasta and bacon and their creaminess becomes the sauce.  

So off the heat I added the eggs, a handful of the cheese that I grated wicked fine on the Microplane and a very generous grinding of black pepper.  In fact, the pepper should be a predominant flavor in the dish.  After a little stirring I was ready to throw down!  This dish hits all the happy places, it's unctuous, spicy, salty and tasty tasty.  And don't forget the other horsemen of the apocalypse, quick and easy.  Sorry about the crappy picture, the kitchen has bad lighting and my stomach was impatient.  


They say that this dish, pasta carbonara, was named after the resemblance of the ground pepper to the carbon mined in the hills around where this dish was created.  Most of these historical stories of the Old Country are 98% BS but it's still a fun story nonetheless.   

Alternatives would be some nice pancetta or guanciale if you've got some around but for the sake of Pete, don't use Kraft "Parmesan", that stuff is crap.


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