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Posts Tagged ‘Eggs’

Carbonara

Ahhhhh, Carbonara.  This is one of those dishes that really brings me back to Rome.  Unfortunately I had lived my life thinking that carbonara was “alfredo sauce with bacon”–and I fear that most people have, too.  This is a shame.  The real deal–which has no cream at all–is rich but not heavy, intensely flavorful but not without balance, and probably easier to make than “alfredo sauce with bacon.”  It’s deceptively simple to the core: it’s creamy without using cream, uses a cooking method that requires one to be “careful” which really means “turn off the heat and stir,” and insists on authenticity.  And it’s the authenticity that is the real secret to the simplicity–and the deliciousness–of Carbonara.

Obviously you can’t go wrong when the main ingredients are egg, cheese, and “bacon”–pancetta please.  And pasta, too.  And garlic.  Right?  What’s better than that?

ingredients:

  • half box of pasta (of course we used Bucatini)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2-1 cup grated cheese (we used pecorino romano, but parmagiano would work, of course)
  • ~4 oz pancetta.  Really rough estimate here.  It cooks down a lot, so I’d advise figuring out how much you want at the end (you don’t need much; it’s very flavorful, but also possibly the star of this dish) and double it.
  • 3-5 garlic cloves
  • frozen peas if you desire

Start water boiling for pasta.  Cut pancetta into medium sized “cubes” and cook in deep skillet (you’ll toss pasta in here) on medium-high heat to render the fat and get them crispy, turning down heat when done.  When water boils, add the pasta, and to the pancetta add chopped garlic.  In a separate bowl whisk together eggs and cheese.  When pasta is al dente, drain and toss in skillet with pancetta, coating the noodles with the rendered fat.  Okay, here is the intimidating part, so listen carefully, but don’t fret.  Turn off the heat.  You are going to stir the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta without letting the eggs scramble.  Don’t worry: all this requires is that you stir continuously and quickly with the heat off.  That’s it.  Not hard.  The heat from the pasta will cook the eggs.  Top off with cracked black pepper, and add peas if you’d like (I do; defrost them first, of course).

Um, that’s it.  Cook pancetta.  Cook pasta.  Stir.  Turn off heat.  Stir in eggs and cheese.  Keep stirring.  Done.  True Roman Carbonara.  Don’t worry, I assure you that it is still worth going to Rome.

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Baked Eggs

These working-from-home days are truly glorious. This morning I went out for a little scamper through the woods, saw a chipmunk, and had a leisurely breakfast of baked eggs and orange-banana smoothie (made in a Magic Bullet, a kitchen appliance deserving of its own post).

One of the best things about this egg recipe is that all of the ingredients, save the eggs, can be replaced with others. (It is a Mark Bittman recipe, after all.) We’ve done this with spinach, mushrooms, prosciutto, feta, toasted hazelnuts, the list goes on.

Baked Eggs

3 mini squash picked at Lyman’s
bunch of red Swiss chard
3 eggs (this is breakfast for two, after all)
rosemary

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter ramekins.

Chop vegetables to bite-sized pieces. Lightly saute and season with salt, pepper, rosemary. Divide vegetables between ramekins.

Crack one or two eggs in each ramekin (or more if you’re using larger ramekins). Bake for 15-20 minutes until egg whites are opaque and yolks are set. Keep an eye on the eggs and bake for longer if you prefer thoroughly cooked yolks over runny yolks.

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