Bucatini Carbonara - Bacon and Eggs pasta at its best...

Bucatini Carbonara - Bacon and Eggs pasta at its best...

When I was young, I adored Fettucine Alfredo, but as an adult, I find most Alfredo sauces too cloying and rich. When I want a creamy, cheesy pasta dish, I crave nothing but Carbonara sauce, simple bacon and eggs. It takes no time at all to make, and is so satisfying and perfectly rich, nothing else compares.

Carbonara takes very little time to make, but beware, it must be eaten quickly. The sauce cannot sit around or you run the risk of scrambling the eggs. And while scrambled eggs and bacon mixed with pasta can still be delicious, it isn't carbonara.

Boozy Epicure's Bucatini Carbonara
Again, carbonara is one of those dishes that relies less on a recipe and more on a basic technique, so here goes. You can feel free to use any pasta shape you prefer (I'm in love with bucatini), and the recipe is easily scaled up to feed as many people as you'd like.

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion, finely diced
2 thick slices bacon, cut into lardons
2 eggs
2 tbls cream
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano (to taste, both mixed in the sauce and to garnish on top, I used roughly 1/4 cup)
6 oz pasta
salt (for the pasta water and final seasoning)
pepper, to taste
3 tblsp chopped fresh parsley

In your skillet, put the bacon and onions and saute until the bacon has crisped and the onions have cooked down. Meanwhile, mix the eggs, cream, most of the cheese (saving a little for the final garnish) and salt/pepper and set aside.

Cook the pasta just 30 seconds shy of done, turn the heat up in the skillet and toss the pasta into the bacon and onion mixture with a bit of the pasta water to let that get fully combined, about 2 minutes. Then take the pan off the heat and add the egg mixture. Toss everything to combine well. Do not put back on the heat or else you will scramble the eggs. Once the sauce is thick and glossy (after about 1 minute of stirring) plate the pasta, top with the remaining cheese and parsley, and enjoy. You've just made pasta perfection in 20 minutes flat (even faster if you've got a strong cooktop).

Wine parings: the creaminess of the sauce and the smokey bacon make this a pretty easy dish to pair. If you are in the mood for white, and low acid dry white wine will work well (buttery chardonnay, while not my favorite, would probably pair well here, although white Burgundy, also from the Chardonnay grape would be more my style), and I prefer to go a little bigger with my red wine. Tonight I drank Barolo, but a Brunello, a more complex Chianti, Dolcetto, Barbera or even a Pinot Noir would all be lovely with this dish.

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