My Mother and Grandmothers taught me well, keep your kitchen stocked with staples. And at our house, you will always find pasta in the pantry and bacon, eggs and Parmesan cheese in the fridge.
We have an abundance of great restaurants in our area but dining at home is often far more comforting and relaxing. Family time over dinner has always been important to us, but spare time seems to be lacking on most days. Pasta Carbonara is a comforting dish and it’s a quick fix on a busy night.
There are many stories as to the origin of this well known pasta dish though the ingredients in most recipes are similar. There is an elegant simplicity to this dish. The classic version starts with eggs and Parmesan cheese blended together to create the sauce. I like the addition of a touch of cream which adds a luscious level. The sauce cooks when tossed together with the hot pasta then crisp bacon finished in a white wine reduction is nestled into the pasta. Finally, more Parmesan cheese is dusted across the top and just enough fresh parsley to brighten those flavors.
Pour a glass of Chardonnay; dinner will be ready in about 30 minutes!
1 pound fusilli
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon for the pasta water
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
6 strips of bacon, cut into small pieces
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine
3 extra large eggs
½ cup heavy cream
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated plus more for dusting
½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus extra for the pasta water
½ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
1-2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
In a large skillet over medium heat melt the butter along with the olive oil, then add the bacon and cook until browned and starting to crisp.
Stir in the chopped garlic and cook for about a minute, skim off the extra bacon drippings, leaving about 2-3 tablespoons in the pan. Add the white wine and cook over low heat allowing the wine to reduce down to about 2-3 tablespoons.
While the wine reduces, bring a large stockpot full of heavily salted water to a boil. Add a splash of olive oil to the water and stir in pasta, cook about 9-11 minutes or until tender. In a large bowl whisk together the eggs, cream, Parmesan cheese, kosher salt and black pepper.
Drain the pasta (do not rinse) and toss together with the egg mixture, combining well to thoroughly coat the pasta.
Add the bacon and reduced wine to the pasta and toss to combine.
Garnish with extra Parmesan cheese and minced parsley. Serve immediately.