Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Single Serving Lunch - Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Originally uploaded by monkeycat!.
I decided to make today's lunch in the same manner I decide to make many meals - by asking myself "What is in the fridge?"

We have:
fridge: eggs, Parmesan cheese, bacon.
cupboard: pasta, olive oil, salt, pepper
garden: parsley

All the ingredients necessary for Spaghetti alla Carbonara. What about cream, you might ask? No cream in carbonara for me.

Single Serving Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Adapted from Tyler Florence

1 slice of bacon
1 tbsp olive oil
1 egg
1 handful freshly grated Parmesan
1 handful of parsley, chopped
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper
1 big pinch garlic powder (no garlic on hand, unfortunately) or 1 clove, chopped
1 bunch of spaghetti judged to satisfy your appetite

Boil water for pasta, add salt. At the same time, heat up oil in skillet to about medium high. Add pasta to water. Once the pasta is going, we go to work. Chop up bacon and add to oil, let fat render and keep cooking until the bacon is crispy - about 5 minutes. Add in garlic (1 clove chopped, if you have it) or garlic powder. In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together egg and cheese until well mixed.

When the pasta is al dente (about a minute before you would call it done-done) use some kitchen utensil to get the pasta into the skillet without throwing away the pasta water. Toss pasta through the oil to get it nice and coated with bacony goodness. Once the pasta is coated and and the sizzling changes from a water boiling sizzle to a oil frying sizzle, take the pasta off of the heat. Slowly pour the egg-cheese mixture over the top, careful not to let it hit the bottom of the pan. Start to stir the egg mixture into the pasta. The goal is to get the egg to cook without scrambling. If the pan was left on the heat, scrambling would commence forthwith.

Once the sauce comes together, add the parsley and give a final mix. If the sauce is too stiff, add some starchy pasta water, 1 tsp at a time until you are happy with the consistency.

I like this recipe because it is made from one of each ingredient. It has nice recipe-symmetry.


Anonymous said...

I tried this recipe once. I did two mistakes. I used cream and overcooked the egg. So it was like spaghetti with scrambled egg. My husband liked it anyway since he loves me so much.

Greg said...


Better luck next time! Spaghetti with scrambled eggs really doesn't sound so bad, does it?