The other night I stood in front of my fridge staring blankly in while thinking “There’s NOTHING to cook”. It was a nice change from morning closet whine that echos through my house of “I have NOTHING to wear.” So, as I stood in front of the fridge wondering if I should just pick up a phone and order some takeout, I had a lightbulb moment – “I have pancetta – heavy cream – eggs – spaghetti – Nigella’s Spaghetti Alla Carbonara!”
Confession: the closest I had ever come to making Spaghetti Alla Carbonara is nuking a Lean Cuisine. To make it from scratch – are you kidding me. I don’t have the chops for that. However, Nigella makes everything look easy – and she’s right. I could see why she joked that she could eat it straight out of the pan – don’t think I wasn’t tempted. Added bonus, I even had vermouth from one of my recent additions to the Philly liquor cabinet. If you don’t have vermouth – don’t fret – just use a dry white wine. Another thing I was thankful for, that everything fit nicely in my braiser – easy cleanup!
This Spaghetti Alla Carbonara is a recipe that will be tried and tried and tried again. Give it a shot – you will thank me later.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 2 cups pancetta, cubed
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 cup dry vermouth
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Freshly ground nutmeg
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. When boiling, salt the water.
- Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and reserve a 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Set pasta and pasta water aside.
- In a large braiser or pan that will fit the pasta, cook the pancetta in the oil until crisp.
- Add the vermouth and let it reduce so that you only have a small bit left. Take the pan off the heat.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs, Parmesan, cream and pepper.
- Put the pan with the pancetta vermouth mixture back on the heat, adding the drained pasta, tossing well to coat.
- Turn off the heat and add the egg and cheese mixture, making sure to toss everything quickly to mix. The last thing you want is scrambled eggs.
- Thin with some of the pasta water if needed.
- Grind over a little more pepper and add a quick grate of nutmeg.
Slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson
Lining up the ingredients…
Let the vermouth meld with the crispy pancetta
Mixing the egg & cream mixture with the pancetta coated pasta
Make sure to reserve some pasta water
Voila – Spaghetti Alla Carbonara
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