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Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pasta Carbonara

When I lived in the Mojave Desert of California, there was a great little Italian place that we went to all the time. Giovanni's was where I was first introduced to Pasta Carbonara. Oh, and what an introduction! While I just can't bring myself to make it quite as sinful as I'm certain the restaurant version was, I still think this is some great pasta. The sauce is quite possibly the easiest sauce around and it is so velvety and smooth and rich.

This recipe is a great one to make for company because it comes together so quickly and it is no more difficult to make it for ten as for two.

Pasta Carbonara
Yield: 4-6 servings

16 oz penne pasta
1/2 lb bacon or pancetta, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 cloves shallots, minced
1 cup heavy cream
4 egg yolks
1/2 cup 2% milk
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 TBS chopped parsley (fresh or dried)
salt & pepper to taste

Put pasta water on to heat. Cut up bacon, garlic, shallots, and parsley. Combine cream, eggs, milk, and cheese. Set aside. When water boils, add pasta. Penne typically takes 8-12 minutes to cook, depending on the brand. Do not start cooking the rest until the pasta is in the water. Cook bacon. Add garlic and shallots about halfway through cooking the bacon. Pour off excess grease (leave however much grease your conscience will let you...). Drain noodles and immediately mix with bacon/garlic/shallots and the cream mixture that you set aside earlier. The heat from the pasta is what cooks the eggs, so don't dilly-dally. Mix thoroughly. Add parsley and salt and pepper. Heat over low until sauce thickens slightly, if necessary. Serve immediately.

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