Friday, December 11, 2009

Special spaghetti

Families give names to favorite dishes, often to designate their source or significance. My mom is a marvelous cook, so it would have been necessary to label almost everything "Mom's ____" when we were growing up. Instead, the identity of dishes by common-name alone was sufficient to evoke the desired response: craving. (Although a few dishes produce the opposite effect: Yorkshire pudding, for example. Sorry, Mom.)

Yet, even in such a food-positive family, some things stood apart. Special spaghetti is such a meal. Ridiculously easy, it holds a place among comfort foods in our family with few matches.

The Method

  1. Prepare 1# (box) of pasta. Spaghetti or linguini works well. Smaller diameter noodles do not. You can certainly use alternate varieties, such as farfalle, corkscrew, etc.
  2. Add 1 C frozen peas to the cooking water about halfway through. Alternately, you can heat these separately in the microwave.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, brown up to 1# of bacon. [Admittedly, I probably eat 3-4 slices before they can make it into the dish.]
  4. Roughly chop bacon slices. [You really only need 4-6 slices for the recipe. Keep the others for sandwiches...if there are leftovers.]
  5. In a bowl, combine:
    1. 3-4 eggs, beaten
    2. 1/2-1 C Parmesan cheese, freshly grated is best by far
    3. 1/4 C cream (optional)
  6. When the pasta is al dente, drain and return to the pot.
  7. Pour the egg mixture, bacon, and peas over the HOT pasta.
  8. Stir until the eggs are cooked - coating the pasta. You can place the pot over heat, if necessary. Do not overcook. Allow the eggs to remain a little creamy.
  9. Season with black pepper.

The Result

IMG00693-20091203-1934  Call this pasta carbonara. Call it Pasta Mama. We think special spaghetti is the perfect name.

Leftovers are wonderful for breakfast. Add a splash of milk or water when reheating, if the eggs seem dry.

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Kudya Bwino Bwino (Eating Well) © 2009