Saturday, November 7, 2009

Cream-less Carbonara

reetings all, it's been quite a while since my last post! This week has been quite an eventful week and it feels like I haven't had a second to stop! But here I am, back and ready to post about my most recent conquest.
I wanted to try something new but relatively simple and healthy. I was up late one night and Oprah had an episode about her favorite recipes and Tom Cruise's Carbonara was a huge hit! Who knew, Tom and cooking? But all that cream makes for a really high calorie meal. The solution came to me during my search and voila! Cream-less Carbonara from recipezaar.
I generally improvise when following a recipe based upon what I have in the kitchen and what I want to use up before it goes to waste. I also added broccoli just because I had bought a bunch the night before. The bacon is an applewood smoked bacon, fresh from the butcher. The cheese is Monte Veronese, unpasteurized and made from cow's milk in Italy. It's got a firmness to it but not nearly as hard or dry as Parmesan. In fact, it's quite creamy.
The result:
This isn't the greatest picture but I was so hungry that I wanted to dig in as soon as possible! Some changes I would make: I only used 2 slices of bacon, I would recommend at least 4-5. Also I would grate a lot more cheese for more flavor. I found this dish to be a little on the dry side, but with some of the pasta juices and the wine, it should be fine.

Recipe is as follows:
Ingredients: {serves 3}
* salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
* 1 lb pasta, spaghetti
* 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
* 1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
* 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
* 5-6 garlic cloves, chopped
* 1/2 cup dry white wine
* 2 large egg yolks
* freshly grated romano cheese

First, put a large saucepot of water to boil. Once boiling, add a liberal amount of salt and pasta. Cook to al dente, about 8 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and pancetta. Brown pancetta about 2 minutes.
Then add red pepper flakes and garlic and cook 2 to 3 minutes more. Add wine and stir up all pan drippings.
In separate bowl, beat yolks, then add 1 large ladleful (about 1/2 cup)of the pasta cooking water. This tempers the eggs and keeps them from scrambling when added to pasta.Drain pasta well and add directly to skillet with pancetta, garlic and oil. Pour egg mixture over pasta. Toss rapidly to coat the pasta without cooking the egg.Remove from heat and add a big handful of cheese, lots of pepper and a little salt. Continue to toss and turn pasta until soaks up egg mixture and thickens, 1 to 2 minutes. Serve with extra Romano.

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