The Secret Ingredient

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Five Minute Stovetop Fettucine Carbonara

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Lost power?  Only have your gas stove to cook on?  Here’s a great, super simple pasta dish you can do stovetop to keep you eating well during a power outage!

“Carbonara”  is Italian for ‘in the style of the coal miner’.  What it really means is hot pasta tossed with a raw egg, pecorino romano or parmesan cheese, pancetta (or guanciale, another type of cured pork), and black pepper.   The egg creates a creamy sauce, which most people mistake for actual cream.  In Italy they do not use cream in their carbonara sauce (nor do I), but here in the U.S. restaurants often do.  It is also not unusual to see onions and/or peas in a pasta carbonara dish.

This works best if you have fresh pasta, because it cooks in only a few minutes.  Everything else I used are staples in my kitchen.  An egg.  Grated cheese (I buy a blend of pecorino romano and parmesan).  Frozen peas.  Pre-cooked bacon (which I keep in my freezer because I buy the kind without nitrates/preservatives).

It’s simple.  Pasta and peas in salted boiling water.  Egg and cheese whisked together in a bowl.  Bacon defrosted to room temperature and chopped.  Toss hot cooked pasta/peas with egg/cheese and stir in the chopped up bacon.  Grind a little black pepper on it if you’d like.  That’s it.  Really.  Five minutes.  Don’t be freaked out by the raw egg either (like I was the first time I had it in Italy).  The pasta is hot enough to cook it to the point where you won’t get salmonella.  Trust me.  I’ve been eating it for MANY years this way and there is no problem with it.

Make this for yourself or for your family.  I only have one warning—-eat it immediately.  This does not “hold” well.  Egg sauce needs to stay creamy, not start to cook and harden on the pasta.  Five minutes to make, eat immediately.  Yum.

Five-Minute Fettuccine Carbonara

Serves 1 (double as many times as you need)

1 serving of fresh (or dried) fettuccine ( 2-4 ounces)

1/4 cup frozen peas

1 egg

1 tablespoon grated cheese (pecorino romano, parmesan, or a combo of the two)

1 strip pre-cooked bacon

salt & freshly ground black pepper

Cook pasta and peas in a small pot of salted boiling water.

Meanwhile, whisk together the egg and the cheese in a bowl, and heat the bacon in the microwave (usually less than 20 seconds).  Chop up the bacon and set aside.

When pasta is tender, drain and toss immediately with egg/cheese mixture.  Add bacon and toss again.  Top with some freshly ground black pepper and serve immediately.

Click here for more information about Tracy’s Connecticut cooking classes, or to read her The Secret Ingredient Blog.

Categories: General

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