Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Plan C

This post was supposed to be about something altogether different. You see, Offspring was tearing out the door for a basketball game, and we also had a theater obligation. So I had planned a quick, but light and healthy meal. But once again, I was thwarted by a grocery store. Not only were they out of a key ingredient (and totally common, mind you - we're not talking Peruvian pigeons here), but when I headed to the meat case for Plan B, I couldn't get the attention of the 12-year-old who was supposed to be working there. So in frustration, I headed home and moved on to Plan... C.

All my thoughts of light and healthy went out the window as I surveyed the fridge. Not much in the way of salad greens.

But there was bacon.

And while I could have put together a 'breakfast for dinner' kind of thing, I was in the mood for more traditional fare. And there was also that hunk of Parmesan that my mom brought back from Rome.

Fifteen minutes later I was sitting down to a plate of creamy carbonara.

And order was restored to the universe.


½ a box of angel hair pasta
3 strips bacon
2 large cloves garlic
½ tsp dried chile flakes
2 eggs
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
½ - 1 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
½ tsp salt
2 Tbs freshly chopped Italian parsley

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. While the water is heating, chop bacon into ½” strips and place in a sauté pan over medium heat.

While the bacon cooks, slice or chop garlic cloves. Beat eggs in a bowl and then add the Parmesan and black pepper. Whisk to combine.

When water comes to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to directions (mine took 4 minutes).

When bacon is almost cooked through, add the garlic and chile flakes and cook just until garlic begins to brown. Remove from heat and add cooked pasta** (I pull it straight from the water using a spaghetti strainer so that a bit of the pasta water comes along with it). Stir to combine.

Pour egg mixture over top of pasta and stir quickly, coating the pasta and allowing the egg to cook (but not scramble). Add a bit of the pasta water if the sauce isn’t creamy enough.

Stir in salt and parsley, top with more cheese (if desired) and serve.

**The recipe I was using as a basis said to add the pasta to the bacon fat, but I just couldn’t in good conscience do that, so I drained the bacon fat, just leaving a light coating of it in the bottom of the pan, and added a bit of olive oil for the ‘fat factor’, which I figure was at least a LITTLE better than full blown animal fat.

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