fettuccine alla carbonara

Posted on June 6, 2012


Today was fairly tame, as far as Wednesdays can go. Nothing anybody else did at work (which turned out to be not much) was helpful, but thankfully I was left completely alone, to listen to whatever music I wanted to, and I ended up getting more done than I thought I would. This is always a good feeling – especially midweek!

On my way home I flatly refused to stop at the grocery store. I had just made it through a work day, the end of which seemed agonizingly long, until I was told it was past 4. Usually I give myself about 30 mins (regarless of the time of day) to clean up and get out. But I knew I’d be the first (if not the only) person there the next day, and I’m usually the only person who cleans up, so I figured fuck it I’d just leave everything as it was until 7am tomorrow.

Wise choice. I sat in traffic for about an hour (cause I was on autopilot and didn’t actually put any real thought into where I was driving, I just had a destination in mind…) occasionally glancing at my dumbass-you-are-about-to-run-outta-gas-light that was on in my dash. I was pondering the amount of time you would have to sit idle in traffic to make up the equivilent usage of gas to actually drive the (how many after it goes on?) miles you have left. Then I was trying to remember if it’d gone on the night before, or this morning. Nightmare. The last, very, very last thing I wanted to do was stand in line ANYWHERE and buy shit. Oh hell no! For the record, I haven’t been food shopping since Saturday, last. The fridge is pretty bare!

I came home and groussed about a few things with my roommate, then I picked up a pasta cookbook that I’d had for a long time, but never used. I asked her if she liked carbonara. She said she did, and told me what her aunt puts in it. We discussed to put cream, or no cream and our preference is the same – hold the cream.

I decided that even though I was totally exhausted I could still do something fairly exciting for dinner, and since our roommate rarely is home to share a meal, I wanted to make something slightly more interesting than opening a box of pasta, and dumping bacon on it.

I put together my food processor, and in it I put:

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup bread flour*
4 eggs, lightly beaten
adding a bit of water as I hit the pulse button for about 5-7 seconds at a time
add 2-4 tablespoons of water (warm-ish) until the dough starts to change from grainy looking to starting to clump up (you may need to use a little more than that – I used about 5-6, I think…)
*use all purpose flour for all parts flour, I just am trying to stretch the flour a little longer, and so used up some bread flour instead

on a floured surface, knead until completely combined.

I used two pasta attachments to make this – I first used the flattening one, and got it down to a 3 (?) or fairly thin looking #2, then switched the attachments on my kitchenaid to the fettuccine cutting one. I’m not sure if this it the way you are supposed to do it, with this thing, but it seemed like the only logical way.

I take fist size balls of dough at a time and then cut those into manageable lengths to then put through the fettuccine attachment/blade.  I then made the mistake of piling all of the cut pasta ontop of eachother – I had only cleaned off “so much” of the countertop, and then all the ingredients to the sauce and crap were piled up too. I wasn’t thinking and got all my pasta to stick together. Que lastima!

I peeled them apart and when the sauce was almost done, and cooked the pasta for about 4 minutes – until al dente. Then drained the water and tossed in with the sauce. I didn’t even use all of the pasta that I cut, cause I was getting impatient, and wanted to eat. I would’ve had WAY too much pasta if I’d cooked it all…

Carbonara Sauce
In a skillet:
just a bit of olive oil, to lightly grease the bottom
two small (or one larger) cloves of garlic, just smushed, whole, not cut at all
6-8 pieces of bacon – cut lengthwise, then into small bit sized pieces
a teeny pinch of dry rosemary, crushed
1 cup grated romano cheese
2 eggs (lightly beaten)
salt and pepper to taste

medium heat, put olive oil, garlic and bacon
cook until the bacon changes color, remove  garlic cloves and discard
turn to low (make sure pasta is already cooking by now)

In a cup mix two eggs (2 medium sized seems to be the way to go)  and add some grated romano cheese to it (not ALL of the cheese, not even half of the cheese, just SOME…) and salt and pepper, if you like.

Add pasta to the sauce – or in my case, with my teeny teeny skillet, I added the sauce to the pasta.  Then add the egg/cheese/salt/pepper mix to this, and stir constantly so the eggs don’t do anything they shouldn’t, like scramble, or set up. mixing the eggs with the HOT hot pasta like this cooks the eggs – I never believed this when I was little. Wouldn’t touch the stuff after I knew how it was made. Turns out my dislike and disbelief that eggs can cook this way were totally unfounded…

My one regret about not going to the grocery store is that I would have preferred to leave this bacon until brunch time, saturday, but I couldn’t bring myself to go to the store just to get some pancetta. It probably would’ve tasted better, but who cares. It’s all gone now. We ate it all (save one or two bites left) which hopefully makes cleaning up even easier. Success making pasta twice in a very short period of time! Wooohoo!