Yesterday, I had a bad case of the Monday’s. I was exhausted when I got off work, and I actually made one of those Bird’s Eye Viola! frozen bagged meals for dinner. It was awful. My boyfriend couldn’t believe I was actually serving that for dinner. We ate it, but that won’t be something I’ll ever buy again.
Today I felt like I needed to redeem myself from last nights sub-par meal, so I thought I’d make something simple, comforting, and delicious. Linguine Alla Carbonara! My friend made it for me a couple of months ago, and I’ve been wanting to make it ever since. So, I bought all the ingredients after work, stopped by my friend’s house for the recipe, came home, and started cooking. The result? Amazing.
Linguine Alla Carbonara (Recipe Adapted from Lidia Matticchio Bastianich’s Lidia’s Italian American Kitchen 2001)
What You’ll Need:
- 6 Ounces Bacon, cut into ¼ in strips
- 2 TBS Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Large Yellow Onion, Chopped. (The original recipe calls for 2 onions, but I think that’s too much, but feel free to use two if you really love onions).
- 1 ½ Cups Hot Chicken Stock (plus more if needed)
- 1 pound linguine
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 Cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
- ¼ Cup of Heavy Cream (optional, not traditional… but yummy!)
- ¼ Cup chopped flat leaf parsley (optional, mainly for color)
- Coarsely ground black pepper
Bring 6 quarts of salted water to a boil in an 8-Qt pot over high heat.
Heat 2 TBS of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon strips, and cook for about 6 minutes, or until the bacon is slightly browned, but still soft in the center.
If your bacon has rendered more than 4 TBS of fat, pour off the excess. If there is less and that, add olive oil to measure the amount missing. Add the onions, and cook until wilted, but still crunchy, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the stock, and bring to a boil. Adjust the heat to a “lively simmer” (don’t you just love that??? HAHA). Cook until the liquid has reduced by half.
Meanwhile, stir the pasta into the boiling salted water, return to a boil, and cook, semi-covered, for 8 minutes. Stir occasionally.
Ladle off a cup of the pasta-cooking water (you may need this to add more liquid to your sauce, if needed). Remove cooked pasta directly from the boiling water, to your bacon, stock, and onion mixture. Bring the sauce and pasta to a boil, and coat the pasta with the sauce. If there isn’t enough sauce to coat the pasta, supplement with the pasta-cooking water you reserved. Check the seasoning, add salt if desired. Remove the pan from heat, and add the egg yolks, one at a time, stirring well after each. The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs. Add the grated cheese, stir well. Add the heavy cream, and mix well. Season the pasta generously with coarsely ground black pepper. Garnish with parsley (optional). Serve immediately.