Spaghetti alla Carbonara

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This is the year of Spaghetti alla Carbonara. It has become a weekly must-have in our household – the kids adore it and so do we. Honestly, with bacon, cheese, eggs, and spaghetti, how could one go wrong?!

After having tried a lot of recipes for Spaghetti alls Carbonara, I stumbled across one in “The Gourmet Cookbook” that I think is a real winner. I’ve modified it minimally by using thick cut American smoked bacon in lieu of pancetta or guanciale (and more of it, at that!), and adding a tad more wine. One of my favorite activities these days is watching the initially grainy-looking egg/parmesan mixture become an incredibly smooth, rich sauce when tossed with the spaghetti, bacon, and onion.

This is such a simple dish to make, but it feels special. It has a ton of flavor (thank you, bacon, onions, and wine), and feels like you are eating a noodle perfectly encased by creamy goodness (now thank you, eggs and cheese).

Carbonara ingredients

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Carbonara sequence 2

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Ingredients:
Serves 4 as a main course

8 oz. thick cut bacon, cut into 1/3-inch lardons
1 spanish onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup white wine
1 pound spaghetti
3 large eggs
1 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper

Preparation:
1. Cook the bacon in a large, deep skillet over moderate heat until it has rendered its fat and is just beginning to brown (about 5 minutes).
2. Add the onions to the bacon and sauté until translucent, about 8 minutes.
3. Add the wine to the onions and bacon and boil until reduced by half, then reduce heat to low.
4. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti in a pot of boiling, salted water until al dente.
5. Mix the eggs, cheese, salt, and pepper and whisk to combine.
6. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and add it to the bacon.
7. Pour the egg and cheese mixture over the spaghetti and toss until the spaghetti is coated with the eggs and cheese.
8. Serve immediately.

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Eggs Muthig

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When I was in college, I visited  my sister and brother-in-law in Germany (they live in Karlsruhe).  My brother-in-law, Juergen Muthig, made the most amazing soft-boiled egg and mixed it together with some German mustard, salt, and pepper.  It was delicious.  When the mustard mixes with the yolk it creates an incredible silky, flavorful bite.   Yum….

It’s the middle of winter and  hearty breakfasts feel like just the thing for lazy and cold Sunday mornings, so I came up with this dish, which I dubbed Eggs Muthig in honor of the Muthig family who inspired it.  Sautéed greens on top of toasted whole grain bread make the perfect nest for a poached egg, completely covered with a mustard hollandaise.  Yes, there are lots of components; yes, it takes some time; and yes, it is delicious.

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Eggs Muthig

Ingredients:

4 eggs, poached or soft-boiled
Hearty, whole grain bread
1 bunch greens, stems removed (swiss chard would work wonderfully, though I used kale in this recipe)
1 medium onion, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp salt
Pepper
1 tsp white wine vinegar
1 recipe Mustard Hollandaise (recipe below)

Preparation:

1.  Over medium heat, saute the onions in the olive oil until just translucent.
2.  Add the greens, salt, a few grinds of pepper, and the water to the onions.
3.  Cover and raise the heat to medium high.  Cook for 5 minutes.
4.  Remove cover, add the vinegar, and continue to cook until the liquid is evaporated.
5.  Toast bread.

To assemble:

1.  Butter toasted bread.
2.  Place sautéed greens on top of bread.
3.  Place egg on top of greens.
4.  Cover egg and greens with mustard hollandaise.

Mustard Hollandaise

Ingredients:
2 egg yolks
8 Tbsp butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp German mustard
1/2 tsp white wine vinegar
1/4 tsp salt

Preparation:
1.  Place all ingredients with the exception of the butter in a blender and pulse to combine.
2.  With the blender running, slowly drizzle the melted butter into the egg mixture until it creates a smooth sauce.
3.  IF your sauce gets too thick, add a tablespoon of warm water and blend briefly to loosen.

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alexandra's kitchen

mostly simple • sometimes fussy • always seasonal