Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Fettuccini alla Carbonara

Remember I said I like smoked stuff back in my previous post? Well, after a long foray away from it I have added a bit of back bacon into my diet. I can hear relatives fainting for miles around. I haven't touched any meat but seafood for at least twelve years or so since I got sick every time I ate something with too much mammal fat in it. But I have to admit that of all the things I gave up, bacon was the one thing I hated giving up the most. Streaked bacon does still do me in with nausea (Yes, Mom, I tried) but back bacon doesn't (it's not streaked with fat). So in the past I used it in my corn chowder recipe and last night I made a favourite of Frog's : Fettuccini alla Carbonara. According to him, this meal is to the French student what Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is to Canadian students.
I'd call it a breakfast on pasta because it basically entails eggs and bacon on fettuccini. I served it the way the French do, with a raw yolk on top. It is perhaps a bit risky with the eggs we get around here but it gets mixed right into the hot pasta so it cooks a bit before it is eaten. I would recommend it because it adds a really nice creaminess to the whole dish.

Fettuccini alla Carbonara
-my notes in brackets

3/4 lb uncooked fettuccini or spaghetti
4 oz pancetta (Italian bacon) or lean American bacon {I used Canadian back bacon}
3 garlic cloves cut in half
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup heavy cream or whipping cream
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Generous dash of ground white pepper
Fresh oregano leaves for garnish {never used it last night, nor do I have fresh}

1) Cook fettuccini in large pot of boiling, salted water until just al dente. Remove from heat. Drain well. Return to dry pot.

2) Meanwhile, cook pancetta and garlic in a large skillet over medium-low heat for 4 minutes or until pancetta turns a light brown. Reserve 2 tbsp drippings in skillet with pancetta. Discard garlic and any remaining drippings {I was lucky to get one tbsp --a drawback from non-streaky bacon perhaps}

3) Add wine to pancetta mix; cook on medium heat for 3 minutes or until wine is mostly evaporated. Stir in cream; cook and stir 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

4) Whisk egg and egg yolk in top of cold double boiler. Place top of double boiler over simmering water, adjusting heat to maintain a low simmer. Whisk in 1/3 cup of cheese and pepper into egg mix. Cook and stir until sauce slightly thickens. Remove from heat.

5) Pour pancetta mixture over fettucini in pasta pot. Toss to coat. Heat over medium-low heat until heated through. Stir in egg mixture. Toss to coat evenly. Remove from heat. Serve with remaining cheese {and an egg yolk in it's shell. Save egg white for other dish}. Garnish, if desired.


s'kat said...

Wow- now that does my heart proud. *sniff*

michelle said...

It looks very cool with that egg on top. Isn't there some way to kind of cook them a little bit by sticking them in hot water for 2 minutes or something like that too?

Nerissa said...

S'kat? Wadja mean? I think my students fried my brain. That's why I'm happy that there's only half a day left until a break...

Michelle--I suppose if you really want to give it it a quick steam cook or something it would cook it. But honestly, I wouldn't do that to luscious egg yolk. The heat of the pasta does a good job of the cooking so that it just tastes and feels like an egg yolk from an egg poached until the thick but runny yolk stage.

Rachel said...

yum! i love anything bacon-y.

michelle said...

Thanks for answering...but I agree with you - I like a bit of luscious runny-ness in my egg yolks too. I've never had it on pasta though, so I'm going to try this!

Crazy Gaijin said...

One word - YUM!!!

I haven't had this for ages. I think I will make it tonight, after reading your post. I have to stop reading your posts, and others, because I never get any Japanese cooking done! I keep cooking what other people are posting about!!!

Cate said...

Love the picture!

Nerissa said...

Don't worry, crazy gaijin... I have a feeling my posts may include a few Japanese foods in the near future so you can be inspired to make rather than dissauded from making local favourites. At least from my site ;-)

Thanks Sweetnicks!