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Food Comics: Pasta Carbonara

Tom O.
Posted by Tom O. on Dec 30, 2016
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We are pleased to introduce Food Comics from The Chopping Block where our resident Cartoonist Tom O'Brien illustrates his cooking adventures. Here, he shows us how to make an easy yet impressive dish, Pasta Carbonara.

Food Fans, if you're looking for a fast and delicious meal, look no further.  Add in the fact that it's just a little bit fancy, impressive and oh so easy, and you've got a guaranteed win on your hands.  I give you:  Pasta Carbonara  I love this Italian classic, and you will to!  The thing to remember about this dish is that each step can come quickly after the next, so it's key to make sure that all of your ingredients are ready to go before you start cooking.  Believe me, it will save you tons of undue stress.  This recipe serves 4, but it can easily be scaled up or down.  Here's what you'll need: ¾ lb uncooked spaghetti noodles (angle hair or fettuccine will work well too) ½ lb bacon (pancetta is more classic, and can be used instead) 3 cloves of garlic, minced 3 tbsp freshly ground black pepper 3 eggs ½ cup freshly grated parmesan a handful of chopped fresh parsley  Set a large pot of heavily salted water to boil.  Add the pasta and cook according to the directions.Cut your bacon into small strips.  I like to get my bacon from the meat counter at the grocery store.  The quality is better then most prepackaged bacon, and I can get the exact amount I need.   I usually end us saving some money too, because I'm buying less then a pound.    The primary pan I use for this recipe is my 12 inch cast iron skillet.   Over medium high heat, cook the bacon until its crisp and the fat has rendered.  This should take about 7 minutes.  Stir the bacon occasionally to keep it from sticking or burning.  Once the bacon is cooked remove it from the pan and place it on a paper towel reserve a few teaspoons of the grease, and toss the rest.  Bacon grease is super flavorful, so I usually save mine to use in place of vegetable oil when appropriate.  It's also great for use in seasoning and maintaining a cast iron pan.  Next,  add the reserved few teaspoons of bacon fat, your minced garlic and black pepper.  This is only going to cook for 30 seconds, so don't walk away.  Still almost constantly to keep things from sticking.  Remove the pan from the heat.Once your pasta if finished cooking, drain it thoroughly.  Add it and the bacon back into the cast iron along with the garlic and pepper.  If the pan is still hot great, if not, put it back onto low heat just for a minute. You want to let your pasta cook in the cast iron just a little bit.  The heat from the pasta is what will be cooking the egg, so make sure it's still hot when added in.  In a large mixing bowl, beat your eggs well, then add in the parmesan and parsley.  Now add the pasta and everything else that's in the cast iron skillet.  Mix everything together and serve immediately.  All in all, this recipe is a fast paced few minutes, but well worth it.  Happy eating!If you'd like to try this dish with homemade pasta, it would be even more impressive! Don't miss our upcoming Pasta Boot Camp at Lincoln Square in January. You'll learn how to use a pasta roller, as well as how to create rustic shapes by hand, and we'll dress up the pastas with divine homemade sauces.

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pasta carbonara

Topics: carbonara, pasta, food comics, pasta boot camp

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