Monday, March 12, 2012

Spaghettti alla Carbonara $0.63 Per Serving!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is YUMMY!  I prefer lighter sauces over the heavier tomato sauces and the sauce in this recipe is NO EXCEPTION!  My food snob husband wasn't ecstatic about it but I attribute that to his love affair with tomato sauce.

A few years ago I read another blogger's post about her  Carbonara and it sounded wonderful but I was sure I'd scramble the eggs instead of turning them into a beautiful delicious sauce... today, as I worked I listed to Rachel Ray on Food Network ramble on about the Carbonara she was making... The deal was sealed... I recalled my blogger friend's Carbona post and decided it was time... time for me to give the dreaded but oh so yummy looking and sounding Carbona a whirl...

Once I decided that today was going to be the day I had to find a recipe.  A Rachel Ray recipe isn't an option for me... I think it's her style of cooking that I don't care for.  I'm sure she has some great recipes but I just can't seem to get on the Rachel Ray bandwagon.  My go to chef is ALWAYS Paula Deen... but, Tyler Florence has NEVER let me down either.... today, I went with a Tyler Florence recipe. 

There was one part of the recipe's directions that had me stumped it reads: "pour the egg mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken"... huh?  whisk spaghetti?  Who whisk's spaghetti?  I'm imagining the spaghetti getting all twisted up in the tines of the whisk and giving myself anxiety because I was already freaking out about possibly ending up with scrambled eggs in my pasta... The directions to whisk the spaghetti intensified my fears... at the last minute I just thought he's crazy I'm not using a whisk in the spaghetti... I'm going to utilize my trusty 'ol wooden spoon and stir like crazy!

I couldn't can't believe how inexpensive, QUICK and EASY Spaghetti alla Carbonara is to make!  This is one of those meals that when I heard the name I automatically thought it would be expensive... I digress.  This is one of the most inexpensive meal's I've ever prepared!
  • Last Novemeber I found bacon for $2 a pound.  For this recipe I used 1/4 of a pound... The cost of the bacon I used in this recipe was $0.50.
  • Fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano ~ 8 ounces $3.99 ~ 8 ounces yields about 2 1/2 cups when shredded.  This recipe calls for 1 cup.  The cost of the Parmigiano-Reggiano I used in this recipe was $1.60
  • The eggs were $1.59 a dozen... in this recipe I used two eggs costing $0.27.
  • The pasta was Mueller's that I was able to get for free...
  • The remaining ingredients are minimal... for all intents and purposes I estimate their cost to be $0.13.
YES!  I MADE DINNER FOR 4-6 people for around $2.50 and it was a darn good dinner at that!

With the exception of my slight changes to the recipe and it's wording here it is... the wonderful Spaghetti alla Carbonara. 

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Recipe courtesy of Tyler Florence
Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 0
Cook Time: 10 Minutes
Level: Intermediate
Serves: 4-6

1 Pound Dry Spaghetti
2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil ~ I omitted the Olive Oil
4 Ounces Pancetta or Bacon, Cubed or Sliced into Small Strips ~ I used Bacon (reason for omitting olive oil)
4 Garlic Cloves, Finely Chopped
2 Large Eggs
1 Cup Freshly Grated parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving ~ I used 1 cup TOTAL
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 Handful Fresh Flat-Leaf Parsley, Chopped ~ I omitted the Parsley

Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cookes the rew eggs in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm.  Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame.  Add the bacon and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered.  Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften. 

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes **DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP** to coat the strands in the bacon fat.  Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps.  Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg and cheese mixture into the pasta, stirr vigorously with a wooden spoon until he eggs thicken, but DO NOT SCRAMBLE (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen).  Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency.  Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt.  Mound the Spaghetti alla Carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley.  Serve with more cheese if desired.

**Stirring for 2 minutes not only coat's the spaghetti in the bacon fat but it allows time for everything to COOL a little so the eggs don't scramble.

I apologize for not having a picture... picture's make a post but I wasn't sure about this recipe... I wasn't sure how it would turn out or if I'd have any a desire to post about it.

Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Food Network or Tyler Florence.  This post is just me giving my two cents about a recipe!

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