Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spaghetti alla Carbonara (Spaghetti with Eggs and Pancetta)

My sweet friend Helen Wheeler-Shaw is an amazing artist!!  Please be sure to take a moment to check out her beautiful art, I know you will love it as much as I do!  Helen is so much fun and has a bit f a twisted sense of humor, maybe it's the New Zealander in her, or maybe it's just that she sounds funny.  Hmmm, I'll have to think about that a bit.  And Helen probably thinks I'm a bit slow.  She's very patient with me when I know I have that lost look when she says something to me a bit too fast with that crazy accent hers and my Texas ears.
Well, last week Helen gave me some of her beautiful eggs from her very own chickens!  Last night I used them (I have been saving them for something special) and made this delicious Carbonara.  I can't believe the taste and how different it is with fresh eggs!!!!  So rich and the color was such a deep orangishy-yellow, this photo does not show the beautiful color at all :/
Romans say that this pasta was introduced to their city by the charcoal sellers who came down from Abruzzo in earlier times to hawk their wares-which is why they named it for the carbonara, the charcoal maker's wife.

This is a super simple recipe to prepare.  Beg, borrow or steal some fresh eggs!!  What a difference!!  I have now officially talked my husband into getting about 5 chickens so we can have our own fresh eggs.  Freaky how your life changes.  Me, this city girl who grew up in Houston, now wants chickens.  Just bizarre, seriously, VERY bizarre.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
(Spaghetti with Eggs and Pancetta)

1 T extra-virgin olive oil
5 oz pancetta cut into 1/4"x 1/4' x 1" strips
1 garlic clove, minced
2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks
1 lb spaghetti
1/2 C freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano
1/2 C freshly grated pecorino romano
freshly ground black pepper

Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pancetta and fry until crisp and lightly browned, 5-6 minutes.
Add garlic, mix in with pancetta and turn off heat. 
Put eggs, egg yolks and 1/4 C water into a small bowl and beat together with fork.  Add cheeses and combine.  Set aside.
Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, 9-12 minutes.  Ladle a couple of spoonfuls of pasta water into egg mixture  while stirring, to temper eggs.
Drain pasta and then return it to the pot.  Use large tongs or forks to mix in the eggs/cheese, the pancetta with the garlic and all it's rendered fat and cooking oil.  Season with fresh ground pepper.  Serve in heated pasta bowls or plates and top with additional cheese sprinkled on top.  Serves 4

Thanks Helen, you better lock your hen house!!!

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  1. Haha.. ooh my chickens are all gaga at being featured on the famous 'Chef in my head blog'..thanks Leslie now I'll never get any eggs out of them!!
    Wow.. this looks sooo yummy..and all glisteny' .. I swear I can smell how heavenly this was!
    Lovely Leslie' I never think you are slow silly..just.. delightful! (and then I add a few " Y'all's "in my sentence and we're all good!) hehe.
    ( by the way .. this was all written in a crazy New Zealand accent):)
    Luv ya ..Helen

  2. I would LOVE to raise chickens! (Says the born and bred ny-er). Carbonara was definitely a great use for those eggs. It is definitely one of those recipes where egg freshness and quality is key.

  3. I adore Spaghetti Carbonara & this recipe looks sooooo good! I will have to figure out how to procure some fresh eggs hmmmmm. Thanks for sharing!

  4. I must say that this looks so very amazing. I got to see the leftovers (and smell them) when your lucky husband brought them to work.......no he did not offer a taste to me! I just love your blog and have so enjoyed many of your great recipes and cooking ideas, not to mention your marvelous sense of humor! Love you lots my dear, your one and only Chef Demonios

  5. I buy farm fresh eggs whenever possible. The yolks really are pretty, aren't they? My husband just ordered this dish, last night, for about $15.00. I remarked that I could have made that for a lot less. Thanks to you, I can prove that theory. Funny, I don't care for this dish (nervous about the raw egg thing), but my husband goes crazy over it!

  6. Totally delicious.....Have a great weekend, xv.

  7. Absolutely delish!!!

    Am also here to tell u something interesting!!!
    SUper giveaway at this link...psst psst, am sure u love LE CRUESET ,dont ya?
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  8. Love this dish, fresh eggs are the best..


  9. Next will be a cow....for fresh milk and cream, butter and cheese.....go on, don't stop at farm fresh eggs!


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