Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature it’s almost November (omg it’s almost November!) as we had another gorgeous afternoon in the mid-70s today! 8)
I walked into work bundled up against the 40 degree chill of the early morning, but by the time I walked out at noon to meet Ben at Walmart to pick up some odds and ends during lunch (the couple that browses the toothpaste aisle together, stays together) I was sweating buckets!
Even now, as the sun has all but set, it’s still warm enough to keep our doors open and let the warm breeze wash in.
Let’s not talk about the fact that it’s supposed to be in the lower-50s with rain later this week, mmkay?
In other news, Trattoria de IGE opened its doors tonight. On the menu, Spaghetti Carbonara.
Translation: pasta (win) with cheese, (WIN) and bacon (WHEE!)
Now Ben and I never actually ate Spaghetti Carbonara when we were in Italy last year – I was probably too busy gulping gelato, while he was most likely face deep in prosciutto pizza – but I found a recipe on Recipe.com for this tasty Italian staple that looked simple and too good to pass up.
It calls for only 5 ingredients and can be prepared in under 20 minutes.
This totally reminded me of the meals we so enjoyed in our adopted country, which always combined just a few good ingredients that were prepared in a fuss-free, mouthwatering way. I was sold!
I gathered my ingredients: spaghetti, eggs, parmesan cheese, salt & pepper, and bacon, and got to work.
Oh, first I have to show you this awesome find: Bacon Ends & Pieces from Trader Joe’s.
Basically when companies package bacon, they cut it into the classic bacon shape and the ends and random pieces get cut off and discarded. Well instead of throwing away perfectly good bacon, TJ’s started packaging and selling it at a much lower price. This was like $2 for a giant pack vs $5+ for a normal pack of thick-cut, uncured applewood smoked bacon slices.
I was afraid “ends and pieces” would translate to “fat and gristle” but this package contained more bacon “meat” than any package of sliced bacon I’ve ever bought. I can’t vouch for every single package, but honestly mine was way more lean and trim than a normal pack of bacon. I was so pleased!
Anyways, start the Spaghetti Carbonara by cooking up the bacon, draining it on a paper towel, and reserving about a Tablespoon of bacon fat in the skillet before adding the bacon back in.
Meanwhile, cook some spaghetti next door, and reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid before draining it and adding it to the skillet with the cooked bacon.
Quickly mix the pasta and bacon before adding the rest of the ingredients.
Which include eggs! K. Don’t get scared. This dish does not taste eggy in the least bit. The eggs melt over the hot pasta and create a silky, smooth sauce. It’s AWESOME.
Remove the skillet from the heat and pour in 1 whole egg and 1 egg yolk, whisked with salt & pepper.
Quickly add parmesan cheese and the reserved pasta cooking water, then toss everything together.
Serve with an extra sprinkle of parm.
And some vino de la casa, obvi!
This pasta was hearty & chewy, cheesy & salty. The bacon pieces are to die, and really make the meal. Mmm, I could eat this all night long. Maybe I will. Miraculously, there are leftovers.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some Heath Bar Blondies to bake up. My sweet tooth was out of control today, but I somehow managed to hold off on nibbling anything sweet until, well, now.
Have a great night!
What do you usually order at an Italian restaurant? Dessert, or no dessert?