My husband loves pasta. Pretty much any pasta but one of his favourite dishes is Spaghetti alla Carbonara (Spaghetti with Eggs and Bacon) and it’s super simple to make. Not only is it delicious, it takes hardly any time and as he does most of the cooking during the week I’m happy to oblige when he requests this dish.
Since every great pasta dish deserves a good Italian wine this is no exception and you even add a bit of the wine to the recipe. Before I started cooking I popped downstairs to see what was in the wine rack (I dream of a cellar but I’m not there yet) because I generally have more red than white on hand.
There was a bottle of Tommasi Le Rosse Pinot Grigio there and I figured it would be perfect for this dish. Generally recommended to go with a salad plate or soft cheeses I knew this cool crisp wine would beautifully offset the creaminess of the pasta dish. It’s available in ON at the LCBO for $14.95 but it’s also available in QC, BC, AB and MB but the cost varies. You can also order it through RKW Wine Imports by the case if you’re interested.
While recipes vary there are a few key ingredients you’ll need for the dish; cheese (Romano, parmesan, or a combination), egg yolks (or whole eggs), some sort of cured, fatty pork (bacon or pancetta) and black pepper. Here’s my recipe:
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Oil, 2 tbsp butter, 8 strips bacon cut into 1/4 inch strips, 1/2 cup dry white wine, 3 egg yolks, 1 whole egg, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup freshly grated Romano cheese, 1 large clove garlic, freshly ground black pepper (lots and lots) and 1 lb. spaghetti
Put a large pot of water on the stove to boil and generously salt it. Then take a large bowl and whisk the 3 yolks and whole egg together. Get a large pasta bowl and whisk the 3 yolks and whole egg together, grate in the cheese and add some freshly ground pepper. I usually like to have this done so you can add the cooked bacon to this mixture (of course you’ll want to sip on some wine while your working).
Put the butter in the pan, and on medium heat saute the bacon until well browned but not crisp. Turn down the heat and add the minced garlic so it gently cooks not fries. You’ll notice the only salt is in the pasta water because since most bacon is already well salted you don’t really need to add more salt. Add the wine and continue cooking tip the liquid is slightly reduced. Take the pan off the burner and let it cool so you don’t scramble the eggs when you pour it into the egg and cheese mixture. Once your pasta is cooked al dente, drain well and immediately pour into the egg, cheese, bacon mixture – the heat from the pasta will cook the eggs but remember to toss continuously so the eggs don’t scrabble. Serve with a generous amount of more freshly ground pepper.
Eat immediately but try not to eat the entire bowl (I will confess at our house there is rarely left overs). Oh…and of course enjoy the bottle of cool crisp Pinot Grigio.