My beloved Mark Bittman recently published a sort of ode to carbonara. This thing I threw together would probably not impress him- it’s more of a skinny chick meal. However, it is flipping delicious.
Like Marky said, I did start with the meat—but it was turkey bacon.
I put it on medium heat, flipping occasionally til crispy, then took it off on reserve.
Then I added some sliced onions to the pan with (admittedly minimal) drippings and turned the heat way down.
But the drippings worked! The onion caramelized beautifully!
Once that cooked for awhile (8 minutes or so?) I added beautiful heirloom tomato (half a medium large tomato), chopped, and let that cook down.
Then it was pasta time. I made 2 oz of pasta (my particular choice was brown rice fusilli, mainly cause… it’s what we had. It’s not the perfect choice, but it was still really good) and undercooked it by one minute. Then I removed it from the pan of cooking water, saving the liquid (slotted spoon is your friend!) and threw it in with the veggies.
At this point the tomato looked a little sparse, so I lickety split chopped up a bit more tomato and added that. I also added some of the cooking water from the pasta. After letting that cook and combine for a minute or so, I threw it in here:
An egg, the magical binder of a good carbonara, and the bacon slice, that I crumbled.
Here were my seasonings of choice:
Fresh basil and super fun cheese! Similar to a Gruyere in texture, but with more of the tang of a Romano. I also added lots and lots of black pepper.
Here is the final dish, after lotsa tossing to cook up the egg:
So, um, I hated it. So much so that I licked the bowl.
You know that feeling when you go from having the intellectual experience of putting together the recipe (add x much of y ingredient, cook for z number of minutes) and the physical, emotional, transcendent, brain-stopping experience of eating REALLY GOOD FOOD? This was one of those.
I bit into the pasta and was bombarded with the amazing flavors- smoky and bacon, creamy egg, sweet and slightly acidic tomatoes, caramelized and sweet onions, tangy cheese.