A few months ago I shared one of my favorite comfort food recipes from my childhood – spaghetti alla carbonara. Now, if you’ve ever enjoyed this dish, you are well aware that it is not on any menu for those watching their caloric intake.
Frustrated by this fact, I came across a recipe from chef Anne Burrell of Secrets of a Restaurant Chef that simplified it and eliminated the heavy cream that I had assumed was mandatory when making this classic dish.
After following her instructions, I was amazed. The flavor, the rich creaminess that is associated with this dish was more than present and when I looked at the clock, I realized it took me all of 15 minutes to make this dish.
After a few tweaks to improve the health factor a bit more, this is the recipe that I am not going to feel guilty about when I choose to enjoy it ever again ( I just won’t eat it every night).
Spaghetti alla Carbona
adapted from a recipe created by Anne Burrell
- 1 pound of whole wheat spaghetti
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3/4 cup sliced pancetta (so much more delicate and enjoyable than bacon and less grease)
- 8 large eggs
- 1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano – freshly grated
- freshly ground pepper
1. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil over medium/high heat.
2. Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta to the cold pan and slowly render all the goodness the pancetta offers over a medium heat and cook until it starts to color and become crisp. Turn off the heat and reserve.
3. Drop the pasta into the salted boiling water and cook it 1 minute less than it says on the package, usually about 6 to 7 minutes. Bite the pasta to check the consistency.
4. While the pasta is cooking, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated cheese and season with salt. Whisk vigorously until it becomes a homogenous. Season generously with black pepper.
5. When the pasta is just about done, return the pan with the pancetta to medium heat. Remove the pasta from the cooking water. Toss or stir the pasta into the pancetta to coat the pasta with the remaining fat in the skillet. Immediately vigorously stir the egg mixture into the pasta. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the egg mixture looks like a cream sauce.
6. Serve immediately garnished with sliced scallions.
Anne Burrell’s recipe with regular pasta and scallions
Images: (1) Simply Luxurious (2) Food Network