Spaghetti Carbonara is another dish that seems to have a reputation for being more difficult than it really is. A few simple ingredients and less than 15 minutes is all you need to throw together a world class dinner-the most important part is having all your ingredients ready before you start so you’re not rushing. My favorite tweak to the traditional recipe is to use borsetti or tortellini instead of long noodles-it makes it a little more filling.
1 package fresh borsetti or tortellini
6 slices bacon, chopped
¼ cup finely grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish Saucy Note: A block of parmesan lasts for a long time in the fridge-grate it as you need it, and keep it wrapped in cheese paper or a plastic bag.
1 shallot, minced
6 cloves garlic, minced
½ tbsp. fresh parsley (or a sprinkle of dried)
Optional: ½ bag frozen peas, cooked
Salt and pepper to taste
Warm bowls or pasta dishes in oven-they’re too hot if you can’t pick them up barehanded.
Mince garlic and shallot. Chop bacon. Grate cheese.
Bring 2 quarts of water to boil for pasta. Salt water liberally.
While water is coming to temp, fry bacon pieces in large skillet until just crispy-do not overcook. Remove bacon to paper towel lined plate, leaving behind about 2 tbsp. of grease in pan.
When water is boiling, add pasta. Make sure the boil is not too vigorous-stuffed pasta can burst if you mistreat it. Set timer for pasta.
Cook peas in microwave, if using.
Mix eggs with parmesan in small bowl.
Add shallot to pan and soften over medium heat. When shallots just start to turn golden, turn heat up to medium-high and add garlic, stirring until fragrant-try and time them so they’re done before or at the same time as the pasta.
Drain pasta when timer sounds, reserving a few tablespoons of pasta water. Working quickly while pasta is hot, return pasta to now empty pasta pot, off heat (pot should still be warm.) Add shallot garlic mixture and stir to incorporate. Next pour in the egg mixture, stir continuously so eggs do not scramble. Add bacon, parsley, hot peas, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately in warmed bowls with extra parmesan on the side.