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Pasta Carbonara

Pretty much the perfect weeknight meal, carbonara takes about 15 minutes to pull together and you'll be fully-satisfied. If you insist on a vegetable, a simple arugula salad with the best extra virgin olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and salt and pepper is the way to go.

This recipe serves 2 - it's hard to make carbonara for more than 2 people at the same time. If you're feeding a larger group, make it in multiple batches.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 strips of bacon, cut into 1/4 inch wide pieces.
  • 1 cup, plus more for serving, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, Pecorino Romano (more traditional), or a mix
  • 2 whole eggs plus one yolk
  • salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 ounces spaghetti or bucatini

Instructions

In a large pot of boiling, well-salted water, cook the pasta to just short of al dente.

In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, grated cheese, 3 tablespoons of olive oil and black pepper to taste.

In a large skillet off the heat, add the remaining tablespoon of the olive oil and the bacon. Place over medium-high heat and cook until almost, but not quite crispy. Remove to a paper towel from the pan, leaving the fat behind.

Just before the pasta is done cooking, remove 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Whisk 1/3 cup into the egg and cheese mixture.

When the pasta is done, remove from the pot and put it straight into the skillet with the remaining fat and turn the heat to high.  Stir the pasta to coat it in fat and season with about 1 teaspoon of salt, but this will depend on how salty your bacon is and how well-seasoned the pasta water is.  Taste to be sure.

Turn off the heat and let the pasta cool for 2 - 3 minutes, stirring to let off some of the heat. With tongs in hand, quickly stir in the egg mixture, being careful not to let the eggs touch the bottom of the pan for too long...you don't want scrambled eggs! Once it's well-mixed, you may want to loosen it with some of the reserved pasta water.

Check for seasoning and serve immediately - carbonara waits for no one!

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Spaghetti aglio e olio

Truly one of the simplest dishes of Italian cuisine...but so so good!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic, sliced
  • crushed red pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt to taste

Instructions

While the pasta cooks, heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the sliced garlic and cook until just golden. Add a pinch of crushed red pepper and salt. Add 1/3 cup of the pasta cooking water and swirl to combine. Toss the hot pasta into the pan and toss quickly to combine. Add more pasta water as needed to make a sauce. Serve piping hot.

Editor's note - resist the urge to add cheese. The simplicity of this dish is key.

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Spaghetti with Fresh Fava Beans

This wonderfully simple recipe comes from Anna Tasca Lanza of Regaleali in Sicily.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups shelled fava beans (1 – 1 ½ pounds in the shell)
  • 1/3 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 cup water
  • Salt & pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Instructions

Saute the onion & garlic in the olive oil in a medium saucepan until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the fava beans, half the parsley, and the water. Cover and cook until tender, about 10 minutes for fresh, young fava beans. Add salt to taste. Cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water until al dente. Drain. Pour half the sauce into a large serving bowl, add the pasta and toss. Toss in the remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

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Spaghetti

$5.95

From Rustichella D'Abruzzo in Pianella comes the finest dried pasta available. Artisan producer Gianluigi Peduzzi works hard to maintain the tradition started by his grandfather early in the 1900's. Spaghetti is still the most popular and versatile shape. As perfect for a rich, meaty sauce as it is for garlic and oil, this coarse, thin noodle is the traditional cut in Neopolitan kitchens.


Country:
Italy
Size:
1.1 lbs
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Brand:
Rustichella D'Abruzzo
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(1 product review)
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$5.95 (Currently Sold Out)

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  1. Fabulous pasta!

    Posted by Sandy on 29th Sep 2010

    This pasta is absolutely wonderful. It is the first pasta I have encountered which adds a wonderful flavor to the dish as compared to others which are just there to carry the sauce! No other pasta comes close.





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