Well, I probably shouldn't do this, but I've started another Blog. Like I don't already spend too much time at the MacBook. As some of you might have guessed, I like to cook and I love to eat. So I thought I'd share my recipes, humble as they may be and an occasional dinner menu at our house. I am somewhat "reluctant" to share this project right now, but caution to the wind. The plan is to be discovered by the Food Network for my cooking show Cranky Franky's in the Kitchen.
Am I ready for critics? Probably not. I know my instructions are not always clear or precise. Let me know if something doesn't make sense. Anyhow, if you're interested, check out "Dinner's Ready"

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Pasta With Bacon and Eggs? OR Linguine alla Carbonara con Funghi

I know I've done this one before, but it was almost a year ago and is worth repeating, I think.  At least it's worth having again.

This is called Carbonara (I won't explain the origin of the term, if you're interested, you can check Wikipedia HERE).  I first learned about this dish from the Romagnoli's Table, a Public TV Cooking Show in the early/mid seventies.

If you go to most any "Italian" restaurant today and order Spaghetti alla Carbonara, you will get a dish loaded with cream and very heavy.  The Romagnoli's recipe does not call for cream and all the flavors of the pancetta, black pepper, egg, and cheese create a delightfully salty-meaty-slightly sweet taste on the palette.

I have been known to tinker with a good thing, adding some other favored ingredient, like mushrooms.

So here is my Linguini alla Carbonara con Funghi: You will need Spaghetti or linguini, pancetta (Italian bacon, NOT smoked), olive oil, garlic, Crimini (Baby Bella) mushrooms, black pepper, eggs.  So  bacon and eggs are not just for breakfast anymore.

I'm trying to be more healthy, so I'm using whole grain pasta.  Whole wheat pasta used to be heavy and chewy, but now Barilla makes a good whole grain pasta that tastes and feels like white pasta.

Put your pot of salted water on to boil.
Cover the bottom of a large skillet with olive oil, saute some garlic in it.
Dice up five or six thick slices of pancetta and add to the skillet.  Saute until browned slightly, not really to a crisp.  Remove the pancetta from the skillet, leave the oil and drippings.

Cut up 8 oz of Crimini mushrooms (you can use white mushrooms, but the Baby Bellas have a nice meaty taste.  Add the mushrooms to the skillet and saute in the oil/pancetta fat left in the pan.  Add more olive oil if needed.  When the mushrooms are cooked through and tender, return the pancetta to the skillet.  Keep warm.

Now the water should be boiling so you can throw in a pound of pasta.  Set your timer for al dente.

Meanwhile crack 2 or 3 eggs in a large bowl and beat them well with a whisk.  Add fresh ground black pepper.  Add a little more pepper.  Whisk.
When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander and IMMEDIATELY toss it with the beaten egg mixture which will be cooked by the hot pasta.  Really, it's OK.  I'm not dead yet.
Add the mushrooms and pancetta and toss again.

Serve with grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano cheese.



Davis said...

It's a great dish - it saved my life when I was broke and this was the only meal I could afford outside of hot dogs and baked beans.

Frank said...

It does have some good nutrition and I think it tastes a little better than hot dogs and beans on most days.

Mitch Block said...

It looks delicious and the photos are wonderful. Even my still-tender stomach wants some. And, speaking of still-tender stomachs, thanks for the link to the Wikipedia info instead of just regurgitating what's already been written!