The great Calvin Trillin once joked that the national Thanksgiving dish should be Spaghetti Carbonara, instead of turkey. I decided to make some, because of that, and I hated it. We still have turkey for Thanksgiving.
Then last week, Melanie Jane said we had to use some of the increasing pile of eggs that our chicks produce, and she found a recipe from Lidia Bastianich for Linguine alla Carbonara. I made it, and it was literally one of the best things I have ever eaten.
The difference? Instead of supermarket bacon and eggs, I had local fresh bacon which I had marinated myself, and eggs from our chicks. The dish is very simple to make.
Pasta Water (Water as salty as sea water)
Linguine (dry or fresh)
Two slices of thick Bacon
1/2 of a small Onion, chopped
Two Egg Yolks
Grated Parmesan Cheese
This sextet of ingredients will taste like a symphony if cooked properly. Start with the pasta water, and fry the bacon in a brasier/pasta pan (not pot). Here’s ours, but a skillet will work fine as well.
The ladies who own our local Le Creuset store in Birmingham picked this one out for me, so my addled brain was not taxed. When I told them it was a present for my sweetie, they went through an entire stack of boxes, to find the best one. I left as a happy consumer.
Fry the bacon while the pasta is cooking. Remove the bacon when it is crisp, but keep the fat, and cook the onions in that. Add a little chicken stock, and I mean a little, and add the chopped bacon, and the pasta (strained) once it becomes al dente. Is Al Dente related to Al Fresco?
Stir those together, and then here comes the only tricky part. Turn off the stove and add the raw yolks. Yes, I said raw yolks. If the heat is just right, the hot sauce and pasta will cook the yolks. If too hot, you have scrambled egg pasta. Too cool, and it’s yuck city.
Grate some good Parmesan over the whole thing, and there you have it. I splurged on some real Reggiano. That didn’t hurt any either.
As long as our chicks keep clucking, this is on the permanent menu. I had five eggs from six birds yesterday, and it appears home made mayo is the next project. Or anything else that uses eggs.