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Prep 10 mins
Cook 20 mins
Last year a friend of mine (born and raised in Italy) had some friends visiting from overseas and invited me over for a night (or I should say day, we started at noon) of true Italian cooking. Well we had many good dishes from appetizers, salads, main dishes to deserts. Went out on the town, and ended up talking or "gossiping," all night. Well morning came and the girls were at it again ... cooking. They called it "Breakfast Pasta," or they said Pasta Carbonara, which brought up the big controversy ... What Is True Pasta Carbonara? Well it depends what part of Italy you are from, and I'm not talking North or South, but small Towns and Villages. Ten (10) Italian gals, and 10 recipes and all I can say is this is my version. Very close to one of the gals, but she was against my use of pepper. Anyways, I make this all the time for dinner and it is always loved by everyone, but in Italy this can be breakfast or lunch too. A crisp salad and some crunchy bread and quick dinner. Now, in true Italian form, I love to use fresh pasta as a treat, and most local groceries carry it. I am lucky and have a small Italian market right down the street, but it isn't necessary, just a nice treat. Also, fresh basil really makes this dish, and again - most local grocery stores carry it these days. Now it is rich, but this serves 6 people. Yes, it has heavy cream and eggs but it isn't that bad when you divide it by 6. Give it a try.
- 1 (16 ounce) box spaghetti, if you can find fresh if it so good, but not necessary
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 6 ounces lean bacon you can also use pancetta (diced)
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 eggs (3 if using extra large or jumbo)
- 1 3⁄4 cups heavy cream
- 3⁄4 cup parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, rough chopped (1 for the sauce, 1 for the garnish)
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- salt (salt in the pasta water and salt in the dish)
- Pasta -- First start the water. A big pot of boiling water salted well and turn to medium high heat. Now remember, the sauce doesn't take long, about the same time as cooking the pasta, so have everything ready.
- Bacon -- Now in a medium saute pan, add the olive oil, then saute the diced bacon or pancetta, onion and garlic. Cook until the onions are soft and the bacon is crispy. Important, once it is done, just reduce to low heat.
- Pasta Again -- As the bacon cooks, add your pasta to the boiling water. It should only cook a few minutes. Follow the directions on the package or the box. Remember, fresh pasta will cook much quicker than dried. Once the pasta is done. Drain well and put back in the pot to keep warm. You will toss everything together right in the pot.
- Sauce -- Beat the eggs well and add in the salt, pepper, cream and 1/2 cup of the parmesan and mix well. Keep 1/4 cup of the cheese for a garnish.
- Now add the cream mixture to the bacon and onion mixture (on low heat) and cook just for a minute to warm up. You don't want to scramble the eggs. Then add in the basil and toss with the pasta.
- Serve -- Transfer to a large serving bowl and top with the extra parmesan cheese and basil.
- Enjoy -- It is a true favorite of mine, any time of the day.