Thursday, July 21, 2016

Pasta Carbonara

My daughter's dish, see the fresh grated cheese?  Served with great New York Brand Texas Toast 4 Cheese Garlic Bread!  Yum!

*Sidenote:  I am reposting this from my old blog.  Transferring it to anyone who moves onto here.  I love going back to these old posts because I get to also my babies when they were babies.  See last picture, he still looks the same just older....excuse me while I hide under the covers and sob because my little man is about to be 7!

We always have Bacon in the house.  My husband says that Bacon has to probably be the best pork product ever created.  I would say Bacon is pretty darn awesome.  I hate making it and dodging oil spits but really nothing beats perfectly cooked bacon....  Welllllll maybe Pasta Carbonara beats the lone Bacon....

One of the reasons why we ALWAYS have Bacon in the house is because my family always asks me to make Pasta Carbonara.  It's definitely a staple in our home.  It's one of those comfort foods.  How the dish started is of a much talked about subject.  It's often said to have started in Rome and is definitely most likely a Northern Italian dish.  It was made more on a family level with it's easy access ingredients.  Also "Carbonara" means "Coal Burner/Worker".

Now yes, I could of use Pancetta, but I didn't.  I could, I should, I would of but are we really going to argue that bacon is a bad thing to replace Pancetta.  If you did want to use Pancetta, you do the exact same steps just replace the bacon with Pancetta.

Funny thing is I actually have family on my mom's side in Italy named Carbonara and when I make this dish I think of them often when making this dish.  My mother's sister and my cousin's all live in Rimini, Italy.  It was my Uncle's last name obviously.  I miss them very much!  This recent cooking experience made me recollect my last visit to Italy and visiting family.  Not too long ago my cousin passed away who is a Carbonara and it made me feel a little happy and sad thinking of how he was so nice and also thinking how I feel bad for him and family.  That's the hardest when you have family overseas.  You can't run by their side when something bad happens.  You can't run and give them your support.  My mother's whole family is in Italy and it's very hard for her.  As it also is with my dad's side of the family.  As my dad was the first to pass among my dad's siblings, I know how hard it is that they couldn't be here for us.

"Mangia Bene" (Eat Good")
A photo of an aged man possibly a Coal Worker eating Carbonara! =)

I have to say when I make this dish I always make a lot!  Enough to last us the next day.  I sometimes think the flavors stick onto the pasta more the next day.  It's great just reheated with some freshly grated Parmesan!  Mmmm, it's sad when it's gone, we all look at eachother with a sad face....  Seriously we do!  LOL!

I have this picture in my kitchen.  I think it's whimsical and playing with your spaghetti is super fun!

Now I've said this before, I can't enforce it more PLEASE use fresh grated Parmesan Cheese.  I's worth it.  You don't have to purchase a huge piece but it beats the stuff on the store shelves that come in a shaker!!!!  It certainly completes taste in any dish!  Store your Parmesan Cheese wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then in a ziploc bag.  The cheese is not that great when it dries out.

A Comical Italian Parmesan Cheese Poster

Now we get to the recipe....

This isn't a very saucy dish.  It's simple, enough flavor and you can add sweet little peas in it if you'd like which also adds a great color.  This time I didn't have any peas on hand and you can use the frozen kind and cook them right along your pasta when it comes to a boil.

I use Thin Spaghetti primarily Barilla Products.  I love Barilla Pasta.  You can use what you like.  Using Thin Spaghetti noodles is perfect for this dish.  A light sauce pairs perfect and it has enough hold up with the tossing where if you used Angel Hair it would fall apart and can cook rather quickly and turn into much.  The regular Spaghetti noodle can be use however I think it may not hold or soak up the flavors since it is thicker. This is my preference and I have used all  types of Spaghetti noodles and I find Thin Spaghetti to be the best for Pasta Carbonara.

Pasta Carbonara
7 Eggs
3/4 cup or more of FRESHLY Grated Parmesan Reggiano Cheese
Dash of Pepper
Dash of Garlic Powder
Frozen Peas (optional)
1/4 cup of Heavy Cream or Milk (also optional)
2 Boxes of Thin Spaghetti
1 Whole Package (I Pound) of Bacon cut up in 1 inch pieces.


Cut up your bacon.  This is what I do.  I cut the slab of bacon in strips without separating the individual slices of bacon.  Then I cute them in about a little bigger than 1 inch squares.  I throw it right in the pan.  I do this all with kitchen scissors.  The slices will separate as they cook and you stir it around.

Fill a pot with hot water and dash some salt in the water.  Bring to a Boil to prepare your pasta.  As you're waiting for it to come to a boil.....

Fry up your Bacon until browned crisp and still a little chewy!  Set them aside temporarily.

As your Bacon is frying your pasta will come to a boil and your pasta can be thrown in.  I take the box of spaghetti and lean it against the edge of my counter and break the noodles in half and then toss them off into the pot of boiling of water, my mom did it this way and I will not argue that process.  Add the frozen peas at the last 4 minutes of cooking the noodles.  When the noodles are thoroughly cooked (al dente) drain the pasta and throw it back into your pot you boiled the pasta in.

Add your bacon, grease and all.  Toss around with tongs or salad tongs.  Get it all around.

Whisk your eggs until light and frothy.  Add your Heavy Cream, optional.  Add the pepper and garlic powder and mix.  Lastly add your Parmesan Cheese.  Mix all together.

This is my Gingerbread Girl Mini Whisk.  I love using her all year round for quick whisking jobs!

Pour your egg mixture into the still hot noodles and quickly with your tongs toss around the noodles.  I usually do this in 2 steps.  Add mixture then toss, add rest of mixture and toss again.  Finito!  (Finished!)

You will end up with this, a big pot of Pasta Carbonara!
Mmmmmm, Bellissima!  (Beautiful!)

That my friends is how I make my Pasta Carbonara.  It's a quick dish and requires very little ingredients.  It's flavorful, comforting and so yummy.  I added Freshly Grated Parmesan to every plate.  To give it that extra touch!  We also had some prepared Garlic Bread by New York Brand that makes a Texas Toast.  It is so good and we like that brand the best.  End results, hungry bellies now full bellies!

We ended the night with some Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting.  I topped it off with some non pareils.  Perfect ending to a great dinner.  Because ya know, it's so typical for Italians to end their meals with Chocolate Cake, okay maybe not, but in my house, it does sometimes!

Johnny enjoyed his piece of cake as you can tell he got it all over his face!

Then we rolled ourselves eventually to bed!

Buonanotte!  (Good Night)

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