So I have this recipe folder at home, that contains a TON of recipes that I cannot wait to cook. This has always been one of those recipes. Ever since Jeff and I went to Holeman and Finch here in Atlanta and tasted their Carbonara, I became a fan. It doesn't contain heavy cream, milk, or some thick pasteurized white sauce like Olive Garden or some other American chain restaurant would make. This is the real deal. It was even made with fresh pasta.
Let it be known, that I am not a huge fan of eggs. This recipe uses a bunch of eggs, but it doesn't taste like it. When it mixes with the cheese, bacon, white wine, onion, pasta, and black pepper, the egginess goes away. It's just good.
The truly authentic Carbonara recipes do not call for white wine, garlic or onion. I just found this one and thought the flavors would really be good in here. I think it made a big difference. To begin, you have to make a garlic-infused oil by crushing a couple of cloves and heating them through.
Next, you remove the garlic and sautee half of a large onion in the pan. Once the onion is soft, add your pancetta or bacon. I used a little bit of both, only because I ran into some pancetta at Trader Joes the other day. Bacon would work just fine, but make sure not to add any salt at the end until you taste it.
While these are getting golden on the edges, boil your pasta water and start the base of your sauce in the bottom of your pasta bowl. All the sauce consists of is 2 eggs and 3/4 cup of shredded parm whisked together. That's it. I also seperated 2 more eggs, because at Holeman and Finch, they serve an extra yolk on top of you bowl of pasta.
Once the pancetta is crispy, add your white wine and let it reduce by about half. When the pasta is done, drain it, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water. Make sure everything is in place before you drain you pasta.....the next step happens pretty quickly. You have to add the hot pasta into your bowl with the sauce and toss it very quickly and often, so the eggs don't cook, but coat each strand of pasta.
We used whole wheat pasta as usual....and it was really hearty and good. Once the eggs and cheese are combined with the pasta (after about 2 minutes of stirring), add in you wine, pancetta, and onion mixture. You can also add some chopped parsley if you have some, and a little of the reserved pasta water if you want more sauce. Make sure to add a lot of freshly ground black pepper to your pasta, and serve with one yolk on top and grated parmesan (and MORE pepper) to pass at the table.
½ lb. Pancetta piece
4 cloves Garlic
3 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup Dry white wine
2 large Eggs
¼ cup Freshly-grated Romano
½ cup Freshly-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
A liberal grinding of black pepper
2 tablespoons Chopped parsley
1 lb. Cooked spaghetti, drained, hot
Crush and peel the garlic. Put the garlic in a small saute pan with the extra-virgin olive oil and saute until it turns deep gold. Remove the garlic from the pan and put in the pancetta. Cook them until they begin to crisp on the edges. Add the wine. Cook the wine down for 2 minutes.
Break the eggs into a pasta serving bowl with the cheeses. Beat them lightly with a fork. Then add pepper and parsley. Mix thoroughly. Add drained, hot pasta to the bowl and toss rapidly to coat the strands well. Add the Pancetta and wine. Toss again and serve immediately.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
**If you want some extra sauce (and presentation!), add a yolk to the top of your bowl of pasta.