Spaghetti Carbonara with a Twist
Last night I created an interesting and delicious version of Spaghetti Carbonara. I had a few tomatoes from my garden that are beginning to get soft and needed to be used and a good size handful of fennel fronds. I wanted something more luscious than a tomato sauce. Why not a quick combo…
Start pasta water on the stove, get bacon and tomatoes simmering, prepare the egg mixture, put it all together and enjoy… less than 30 minutes from start to eating.
One-half pound spaghetti or any pasta you like
4 quarts water for cooking pasta
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Boil 4 quarts water in a large pot, when water boils add salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Reserve one cup of pasta cooking water.
4-5 strips bacon or a half inch chunk of pancetta – cut in small dice
2 tomatoes (about 2 cups chopped)
1 clove garlic – minced
One-fourth teaspoon red pepper flakes
One-half teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
One-half cup white wine (or water)
Heat a sauté pan over a medium high heat, add bacon so it sizzles and begins to brown 2-3 minutes. Turn heat down to medium, add garlic, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt, wine or water, cover pan, turn flame to low and simmer 10-12 minutes.
One-half cup fennel fronds – minced
One-fourth cup parsley – minced
One cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
One cup pasta cooking water
Whisk the egg, fennel, parsley, and cheese in a pasta serving bowl, set aside.
Put it Together
Drain pasta, reserve 1 cup cooking water, dump pasta into bacon and tomatoes, stir to combine, toss with egg mixture along with pasta cooking water. Divide in 2 pasta bowls, sprinkle grated cheese on top and serve immediately.
Psst… Pasta Info
If you have an Ocean State Job Lot near you, head there to buy imported Italian DeCecco or Del Verde pasta. It is good quality and good tasting pasta for a mass produced product at a reasonable price. You can easily tell the difference. When your pasta absorbs the flavor of your delicious sauce by the time the pasta is served at your table, you are using an inferior product. Cooked DeCecco and Del Verde pasta stand up to a sauce. I think it is the quality of semolina wheat used to make the pasta. I recently found bags of a pasta called “Festonati” (its fun to say with an Italian accent). Festonati are thin pasta tubes, much thinner than rigatoni, excellent for quick sauces.
Looking back over my blog entries they have centered on what’s been fresh from my garden. We’ve put our garden to bed and rest for the winter. My current cooking focus at this time of year shifts to our Macrobiotic roots. The food is hearty. I’ll share with you how to prepare hearty meals that are also light and delicious.