Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pasta for Two

The heroine in my first novel is a terrible cook. However, a friend shares this recipe with Maggie, and tells her it’s the way to a man’s heart. Or at least it’s one way.

This is Pasta Carbonara, the purist’s version. Some cooks throw a lot more ingredients into this recipe, but this is the simplified version and I think we can all agree that sometimes less is more.

In Maggie’s case, Jack turned out to be much more. But that’s another story.


Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 pound of Rigatoni or spaghetti noodles

1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup of pancetta, chopped

One teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

5-6 cloves of garlic, chopped

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 large egg yolks

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or Romano)

Put a large pot of water to boil and cook those noodles to al dente, about 8 minutes and do not get distracted by each other because over cooked noodles will ruin your dish!

In a large skillet add Olive Oil and pancetta and brown, about 2 minutes. Add red pepper flakes and garlic, cook 2 to 3 minutes. Take that bottle of wine you’ve been serving yourself with (there should be some left) and add it in. Stir up all the pan drippings and try not to drool because this now smells a bit like heaven.

Beat yolks, adding about 1/2 cup of the hot water from the pasta to temper the eggs. Drain the noodles well, and add them to the pancetta mix. Toss and mix well.

Add the egg mixture to the pasta, tossing and mixing some more. Grab two handfuls of the cheese and throw it in there (and some at each other if you’re into that sort of thing) and toss and mix some more. It’s ready now. Ding! Ding! Ding!

You can eat this out of the pan, but it will serve six. Or two people who are really hungry. I recommend you both wear aprons while you cook this. Your choice. But if not an apron, you should wear something.

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