Egg and Bacon Pasta: Penne a la Carbonara

Since spring semester of school has begun, I have faithfully done two things when I get back home from class:

1) Eat a snack (some things never change)

2) Turn on Food Network.

My two shows of choice are The Barefoot Contessa and Giada at Home.

Oh, how I do love these two lovely ladies.

Sometime in November, I bought Giada’s first cookbook, Everyday Italian,and I cannot put it down. It has every Italian recipe you could think of, including a scrumptious Penne Carbonara.

What is that you may ask?

A rich, heart-clogging, stuff-your-face pasta dish made with bacon, eggs, cream and Parmesan cheese.

I almost had a stroke writing that.

So one cold evening I decided to try it, because winter gives me free excuse to eat this way.

Salad? What salad?

Penne a la Carbonara

From “Everyday Italian” by Giada De Laurentiis

Serves 4

1 pound pancetta, diced into 1-inch cubes (substitute bacon, if you cannot find pancetta)

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 eggs, at room temperature

1/2 cup heavy cream, at room temperature

1 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (You can use pre-grated Parmesan)

1 pound dried penne

4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves (Dried herbs and garlic powder work fine as well. Be liberal)

Heat a large saute pan, until hot. Add pancetta and saute until golden brown and crispy, about 5 minutes. Season with black pepper and remove pan from heat.

In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and cream. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in Parmesan, reserving 2 tablespoons for garnish.

In a large pot, boil 6 quarts of salted boiling water. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander. Do not rinse with water; you want to retain the pasta’s natural starches so that the sauce will stick. While the pasta is still hot, return it back to the pot. Add the browned pancetta and mix well. Add the cream mixture and coat the pasta completely. It’s important to work quickly while the pasta is still warm so that the cream mixture will cook, but not curdle. Add remaining Parmesan and chopped parsley.

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