Fettucine Carbonara; Simple Baby Arugula Salad

By Ira

I make different versions of Pasta Carbonara; sometimes I use green onions, or I don’t add bacon, or I use whole eggs instead of egg yolks, or I finely dice the onion instead of grating it as I have done in this version. This is a very easy, quick, and comforting meal. Everything can be prepared while the pasta is boiling.

Serves 4

  • 1 lb Fettucine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion, grated
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup milk or half-and-half
  • 2 – 4 pieces bacon
  • 1/4 cup parsley, finely diced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, plus extra for sprinkling on top
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 package baby arugula (for side salad)

In a large pot, bring water to boil, add a very large pinch of salt, and cook the Fettucine according to package directions. Reserve about 1 cup of the pasta water before draining the pasta. As soon as you drain the pasta, you need to combine it with the egg mixture described below. So make sure that you have the egg mixture all ready.

While the pasta is cooking, heat the butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. When butter melts, add the onion and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to medium low and cook stirring occasionally for 5 minutes. Add the garlic and stir constantly for 30 seconds. Take it off the heat, transfer it to a plate and set aside.

In the same now empty skillet, fry the bacon until crispy, drain on paper towels, then break into 1/4 inch pieces.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the egg yolks lightly with the milk, a pinch of salt, and pepper.

Add the onion and garlic mixture into the egg yolk mixture and whisk to combine. This pasta dish requires a lot of black pepper, hence the name “carbonara”. You can add additional black pepper at this stage, according to your taste. I add the black pepper right at the end on the individual plates as my kids don’t like the additional black pepper.

As soon as the Fettucine is done, quickly add it to egg yolk mixture and start stirring quickly. The heat of the pasta will cook the egg yolks. If you are worried about the egg yolks staying raw, you can quickly transfer it to the large pot and stir it over low-medium heat.

If the pasta gets too dry, then add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water. The Fettucine needs to be smooth and feel creamy. If it’s still dry, you can add additional pasta water 1/4 cup at a time.

Add the bacon, parsley, and Parmesan, and stir to incorporate.

While the pasta is boiling and the onions or the bacon are cooking, you can quickly drizzle the baby arugula with lemon juice or balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a pinch of salt.

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