Pasta alla Carbonara is one of our favorite quick dinners to make. It's rich, creamy, hearty, bursting with flavor, and at this point I could probably make it in my sleep. I'm not sure where I got this recipe from originally, so I can't tell you how authentic it is, but I can tell you that it is delicious.
The measurements for this don't have to be precise; the hardest part of writing this recipe was translating splashes, handfuls, and pinches into actual measurements. I like to use thinly sliced pancetta (I cut it into small pieces with my kitchen scissors), but cubed is good too. You can use bacon in place of pancetta for a smokier flavor, and you can adjust the amounts of garlic, parsley, pepper flakes, and cheese to your taste.
EDIT: I'm honored to say that this was featured by Alison over at Oopsey Daisy!
Makes 4-6 servings
1 lb pasta (I like penne or campanelle, but almost any kind works well)
6 oz pancetta, cut into small pieces
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup pasta water (reserved from cooking the pasta)
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
1 tbs red pepper flakes
1 cup romano or parmesan, grated
salt & pepper
1) Boil water & add the pasta. Add a pinch of salt to flavor the pasta, and a splash of olive oil to prevent the water from boiling over (it breaks up the surface tension of the water).
2) In a large pan over medium heat, fry the pancetta until golden. Add the garlic, and fry until just cooked (about a minute; burnt garlic is very bitter, so keep a close eye on it). Deglaze the pan with the wine, and let simmer for about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
3) Whisk the egg yolks together in a bowl. Slowly drizzle in the hot pasta water while whisking continuously (this keeps the eggs from cooking too quickly and becoming lumpy).
4) Drain the pasta, and put it back over low heat. Pour the yolk mix over the pasta, and stir together. Mix in the pancetta/garlic mix, the parsley, and the red pepper flakes. Remove from heat, and stir in about 3/4 of the cheese. Add salt & pepper to taste.
5) Serve, garnished with more cheese on top.