I’ve been really into eggs recently. Not just your standard scramble or omelette, but eggs on everything. Deviled eggs, eggs on pizza, eggs on grits, eggs on rice. Basically eggs on any sort of carb-bomb. Maybe it’s because they’re super easy, versatile and cheap. They can go from breakfast to lunch to dinner; and are essential to my favorite course: dessert. Or maybe it’s that eggs are timeless. People have used eggs since we figured out that chickens laid them. (Or did the egg come first and then the chicken? Another story for another day…) It could be that during my recent training for a half-marathon, I found myself craving some serious protein. I inhaled smoked salmon eggs benedict from The Bowery Diner after the actual race like it was oxygen (which was delicious and I definitely recommend it!).
Regardless of the reason, I don’t think anyone could argue that eggs are delicious and a staple as an ingredient or as a stand-alone course. So when I saw a recipe for carbonara pasta on one of my favorite blogs How Sweet It Is, I had to give it a try. I’ve had spaghetti carbonara several times in restaurants (in fact, the carbonara at Landmarc - shameless plug – is quite tasty), but have never ventured to make it on my own. I guess something about eggs and pasta intimidated me. But after my new egg-kick, there’s nothing I wouldn’t put an egg on. Not surprisingly, this dish was totally foolproof and absolutely egg-cellent even on a warm evening in New York City.
Spaghetti Carbonara adapted from How Sweet It Is
makes 2-3 hearty servings
1/2 lb long, thin pasta (I used brown rice spaghetti, but you could use linguine, angel hair, whatever you have in the pantry)
1/4 lb pancetta, chopped
1 medium-large shallot, chopped
10 oz baby bella mushrooms, quartered
2 large eggs
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
salt & pepper
1. Cook the pancetta in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until browned and the fat has rendered, about 5-7 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Turn down heat to low.
2. Add the shallot and mushrooms to the pan with a pinch of salt. Cook until browned and softened, about 8 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta. While the pasta and mushrooms are cooking, mix together the eggs and cheese in a small bowl.
4. When the pasta is cooked to al dente, reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water, then drain. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet with the shallot and mushrooms. Quickly toss to mix.
5. Remove the skillet from the heat and pour in the egg and cheese mixture. Stir constantly for a minute or two until all the noodles are coated.
6. Stir in the pancetta and top with more parmesan cheese and a couple grinds of black pepper.