Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Penne Carbonnara

There are few exciting things coming up. For one, I’m looking forward to seeing Giz’s new kitchen. Maybe I’ll convince Giz to make a little video of her new digs. I’m also looking forward to the Bar Mitzvah cooking. It’s this Sunday (yes, Bar Mitzvahs are usually on Saturdays, but not this one). Lastly, in a few weeks, I'll be hosting Presto Pasta Nights.

Ruth, the creator of Presto Pasta Nights, had a brilliant idea to have guest hosts every second week. Not only does this lighten the weekly load of posting a roundup, which is actually more time consuming than I had expected, but it also gives other bloggers a chance to host a popular event. The theme is simple – any sort of pasta dish. I’ll post some reminders as we get closer to my week.

In anticipation of this event and with some cooler weather days, I’ve got my own submission for this week’s Presto Pasta Night.

I stopped in to the local Italian food grocery store this past weekend. Man, that place is dangerous. I love to just roam around and pick out a few items to experiment with. Given the wonderful smell of the store and varied selection, spending $50 on food that I don’t really need is easy.

I walked out of the store to a frantic R. who thought that the store had either been robbed or that I had fallen and couldn't get up. Both scenarios, in his mind, would feasibly account for why it had taken me so long in the store. But, I walked out of the store with ingredients for a carbonara sauce, so all transgressions against R's patience were pardoned.

There are a tonne of recipes for carbonara sauce online. Heck, even Tom Cruise has one. Most of them contain the same 5-6 ingredients: garlic, cheese (parmesan or romano), parsley, eggs, and bacon (pancetta). Here's what I did:

Penne Carbonara


penne (1 box - usually makes about 4-5 portions)

large portion of pancetta (maybe 1.5 inches thick), diced

3-4 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

1/2 cup romano cheese

1/3 cup parsley, chopped

4 eggs

salt and pepper, to taste

Start boiling your water. Once the water is started, add chopped garlic to a frying pan. Next you add the pancetta. At first I thought that the pieces I had cut were too large...


but after I added the pancetta to the garlic and allowed them to fry for a little while, the size was good. Once the water has come to a boil, add the pasta.


In the meantime, I grated some romano and parmesan cheese and added an egg to it.


I also decided to add some cream to this mixture, but I probably would not do this again. Instead, I'd just add some pasta water. It’s also important to consider that the liquid will evaporate, so for my tastes, a bit too much liquid is better than not enough.


Once the pasta if cooked, strain the water (reserve some). Then add the cheese/egg mixture, pancetta and parsley to the pasta. Mix well and add pasta water to obtain the desired consistency. Salt and pepper, to taste.



Lastly, I’d like to throw a plug in for Kristen at Dine and Dish’s Adopt a Blogger#2.


Shortly after Giz and I started this blog, we joined the first Adopt a Blogger, as newbies. We were paired with Ann and Jack from Redacted Recipes. Since it was such a great experience, Giz and I have now signed up a veteran bloggers. We’re looking forward to being paired with a newer foodblog. You can learn more about the details here.

Here’s the thing – there are lots of newbie foodblogs, but not enough veteran bloggers. So – if you’ve been around for a while and want to be paired with a newer blog, please go visit Kristen and sign up.



Darius T. Williams said...

Hmm - so you know what - why didn't I know that carbonnara had raw eggs in it? I kept seeing it and I thought it'd be good - but I'm sooo now down w/the whole raw egg thing.


Julia said...

Mmmm. I love carbonara. It's so easy and makes a great last minute meal since I usually have everything in the pantry. I also add peas to mine... and sometimes I put it on a bed of pureed beets for an amazing color contrast.

Good luck with the Bar Mitzah prep and mazel tov.

giz said...

Computer is finally hooked up again and I can almost see the top of my kitchen counter. I log on to see what's new on the blog and what do I see - penne carbonnara. Psychgrad - that's just cruel considering that peanut butter has been a basic staple for the past week (Peanut Butter Boy would be seeing that as pretty normal).

This dish looks pretty amazing and I'm looking forward to having a kitchen bitch around :)

kat said...

this is one of those comfort meals Matt makes me. Its funny I never cook it I make him do it.

OhioMom said...

I haven't made this, since my eggs come straight from the farm and not some agri-business I feel safe eating them raw. Looks delish!

test it comm said...

That looks so good! Carbonara is really easy to make and one of my favorite pastas.

La Bella Cooks said...

Look at all that gooey yummy cheese! I absolutely love pasta carbonnara and yours looks delicious. ok, now I'm hungry again...

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

Using the penne for the carbonara would make this a really comforting and hearty dish:D

Ivy said...

I have so much to say regarding your post. First of all great dish, one of my favourites. Second, looking forward to that video of Giz's kitchen. Third, thanks for telling us that you are hosting. I need a reminder every now and then as Presto Pasta Nights is one of my favourite events and although I cook pasta often, don't find the time to blog about it and last but not least I always wanted to join the Adopt a Blogger, so thanks for that as well, shall go and register.

Beth (jamandcream) said...

Carbonnara is my all time faveourite. I want it right now!! Thanks for highlighting adopt a blogger - might join as a newbie

Laura Paterson said...

I love carbonara, but hardly ever eat it... I always think it is too creamy/ cheesy to make for myself, more of a treat... then when I'm out at a restaurant, I say, I'm not getting the carbonara, I could make it at home in 10 minutes!


grace said...

very nicely done! this is such a staple for an italian food lover. i think it's a blessing in disguise that there's no italian food market near me... :)

Anonymous said...

That carbonara looks stunning! Comfort food.

Rosie said...

Carbonara is a great comfort food and yours looks delsih!!

Rosie x

RecipeGirl said...

My husband and I would like to come and live with you so you can make us this delicious looking pasta!! Carbonara is our absolute fave. Never order it for fear of growing out of my fat pants! Great job!!

And I'm with ya on the Italian grocery store... I lug out more than I will ever use!

Ruth Daniels said...

Great post and a glorious version of one of my favorite dishes. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Nights.

I'm looking forward to your hosting too!

Neen said...

The pancetta looks particularly scrumptious -- some much better than simply bacon. As for the adopt-a-blogger, how do they distinguish between veteran and newbie? How long does someone have to have been around to count as a veteran?

PG said...

Neen - you can find more details here. The "rules" say veterans should be around for a year, but it's not a strict rule. I think the main requirement is that you know your way around the community fairly well. We've only been around since December and I've entered as a veteran.

Nic said...

This is one of my fav's, great photos too.

That Girl said...

Cabronara is one of my newest "things"!

Melissa said...

I just found out last year what carbonara was through my wonderful blog friend, Home Cook.

I fell in love. Thanks for reminding me. Steve doesn't love it like I do, but he will eat what I make, especially as I get better, so I need to do this again. And when I say that I mean it. I always do.

I also have an Italian market next door, PG, and it's hard for me to get out of there without buying much more than I intended. It's just sooo gooooood. :D

Dee said...

I'd rather have your carbonara than Tom Cruise's any day :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the adopt a blogger mention! I really appreciate it :)
I'm adding this to my menu plan for next week. Looks amazing!

What's Cookin Chicago said...

Mmm - one of my fave pasta dishes!

Deborah said...

Carbonara is one of my favorite things!! I'm so sad I can't eat it right now (the whole raw egg thing and being pregnant) but I look forward to eating some in about 5 months!

Lauren said...

I have been craving carbonara and your post makes me want it even more!

Lori Lynn said...

Love, love love carbonara!
And those photos of pancetta! Oh my!

Can't wait to hear about the Bar Mitzvah fare...

Anonymous said...

That looks totally yummy - I haven't made carbonnara in a long time. Thanks for making it so I can make it for my family!!

Anonymous said...

Be still my heart, that pancetta looks so good!

Anonymous said...

I love pancetta! It must taste amazing with all of the creamy and cheesy ingredients, it certainly looks tasty :). We would like to feature your penne carbonnara recipe on our blog and possibly our kitchen digital recipe reader. Please email sophiekiblogger@gmail.com if you're interested. Have a great week ahead!

Ed Schenk said...

Feb 2,2010
This is an introduction. My name is Ed and I created the blog Real Food Blog.I later changed over to a wordpress platform and now call the site Detroit Eats (detroiteats.wordpress.com).I was supposed to matched up with your site in the Adopt a Blogger program but noticed you already have a different site that you are matched up with. Could you e-mail me to clarify this situation.
My e-mail is woodsmanq@msn.com
Also, if there is another contact address for you ( I didn't notice one in your site).

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