Penne a la carbonara

Oh my goodness, this was too good, naughty good.

My inspiration is from Giada de Laurentiis’ first book – Everyday Italian, one of my favourites with many classic, simple and delicious recipes. I adapted her recipe slightly for a smaller portion as this dish is so rich and creamy – it is not an everyday recipe, but a luscious special comfort dish that was definitely worth it! I used a 1/2 box (1/2 pound) of penne which was enough for my husband and I and the kids.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound of dried penne
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices of good quality bacon (I prefer reduced sodium), cut into small pieces
  • 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup of heavy cream at room temperature
  • 3 large eggs (preferably organic free range) at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons of freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Begin by mixing the cream, eggs, 2 tablespoons of the Parmesan cheese, and 1/8 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper, and set aside. It is important that the cream and eggs are at room temperature so the mixture does not curdle when added to the hot pasta which will cook the sauce. Note: I put out the cream and eggs about an hour before I got started.
  2. In a skillet, heat the olive oil on medium-high heat and then cook the bacon pieces until browned (about 5 minutes). Stir in 1/8 teaspoon of black pepper and remove the pan from the heat and set aside.
  3. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta by the package instructions.
  4. Drain the penne, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.
  5. Working quickly, return the penne to the pot, along with the 1/4 cup of pasta water (which will help thicken the sauce) and mix in the bacon from the skillet into the penne and combine. Pour the egg and cream mixture into the penne and stir continuously to distribute the sauce and cook it with the heat of the penne noodles. Add in the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, combine and dig in! (Yes, I did take a taste right out of the pot – heavenly!).
  6. Note: Double the recipe for a 1 pound box of pasta 
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