Spaghetti Carbonara for a quick and easy dinner

If you are anything like me, although you love to cook, sometimes the busyness of every day life calls for something quick and delicious that you can make with basic pantry provisions.

Enter Spaghetti Carbonara.
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Here is what you need:

2 eggs lightly beaten

1 cup of grated Parmesan cheese OR 1/2 cup parm and 1/2 cup pecorino.

12 oz dried spaghetti (I prefer De Cecco), although fresh would be quite delicious

1″ thick slab of pancetta, pork belly, or bacon, cut into about 1/2″ pieces

2 tbs butter

1 clove garlic

A few notes about this. This recipe requires you to have your ingredients at the ready. This moves very quickly once you have the spaghetti cooked. Also, don’t use the sawdust¬†parmesan in the green can. Use the best ingredients you can because there are so few that the quality of your ingredients really stands out.

To begin, set your pot to boil, and make sure the water is well salted. As Lidia Bastianich says, it should taste like the ocean. You won’t be drinking the pasta water, but the salt will flavor your pasta as it cooks.

Spaghetti takes about 12 ish minutes to cook, so once you’ve added your pasta to the water, set your saute pan over medium heat, adding your butter to melt. Once melted, add your clove of garlic (whole) and your pork product of choice to the pan. Cook these together until the clove of garlic turns golden. Once it turns a golden color, discard the clove. Remember not to leave it in beyond that or your garlic will provide a bitter, burnt taste. I don’t know about you but that is not my favorite taste.

Once the spaghetti is al dente, add the pasta directly from the pot to your pan. For God’s sake, do not rinse your pasta! Right into the pan. There you go.

As soon as you have added your pasta to the pan and given it a good stir, remove the pan from the heat immediately, adding your beaten eggs to the pasta, as well as half of your cheese. Stir well to coat your pasta, and then add the rest of the cheese, stirring well again. It’s important to do all of this OFF of the heat or you will be having scrambled egg pasta instead. BLECH!

I like to serve this with baby spinach tossed with a Dijon vinaigrette. Also, don’t freak out about the raw eggs… They actually cook from the heat of your pasta and pan.

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