I once saw Tyler Florence make Carbonara on Food911. It looked so delicious and rather easy for such a beautiful dish, I just had to try it.
Now, I know pancetta is probably more traditional for this meal, but I’m watching costs here. So, I made some modifications and substituted Pancetta with Bacon ends. Besides. Who doesn’t love bacon? OK, my daughter doesn’t like bacon as much and me and her daddy, but she still enjoyed this dish. I just promised to make it with Pancetta next time. Just to compare. As for me and my hubby, this was PERFECT! Bacon good!!!
Linguine alla Carbonara:
1 lb dry Linguine – $1.59
2 Tbsps olive oil – pantry
4 ounces bacon ends or thick sliced (finely cube or slice into very small strips) – $1.50
1-2 Tbsps garlic, finely minced or crushed ( – pantry
2 large eggs – $.66
1 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (fresh is best) – $1.75
1 tsp pepper – pantry
handful or so of fresh chopped parsley – $.25
Begin preparing your carbonara sauce while the linguine is cooking. You must time this dish so that your pasta is hot and done cooking when the sauce is ready to be finished. It’s the heat of the pasta that actually cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.
When boiling your pasta, cook it “al dente.” Drain and reserve 1/2 cup of the cooking water. You’ll need it!
Meanwhile, cook bacon until it’s crisp and the fat is fully rendered. Add in olive oil and garlic and saute for about a minute to soften.
Drain your hot linguine and add to the bacon mixture. Toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the fat. Beat your eggs and Parmesan together in a bowl. Remove the pasta and bacon from heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta and whisk quickly until the eggs thicken. You’ll need to add about 1/4 cup of your reserved pasta water as you whisk. This will help your sauce remain smooth and not too thick. Careful not to scramble (this is why this process is done off the heat).
You may need to thin out the sauce a bit more. Use your reserved pasta water. Season the carbonara with ground black pepper and garnish with fresh chopped parsley and some additional Parmesan.
We had steamed broccoli ($2.00) as our side dish, but you could do just about any veggie or salad. Just remember, this dish is best served immediately. Nice and hot and wonderfully creamy.
GRAND TOTAL: $7.75