Carbonara

Pasta alla Carbonara can be made with or without cream. This version adds a tangy twist to a classic recipe.

I usually make a simple cream, or Alfredo, sauce for pasta and toss in a bunch of vegetables and either shrimp or chicken. Some carbonara recipes use a similar cream base for the sauce while others do not use any cream at all. This version uses crème fraîche to give the sauce a bit of tanginess to compliment the richness coming from the egg yolks. The result is a simple, rich pasta dish with a nice balance of flavor. It works well with fettuccini, which is what I had on hand and used, but I prefer the texture of linguini for this recipe. I usually just follow the recipe as written but sometimes add a touch of heavy cream at the end. You can cut out some of the fat by precooking the bacon in the oven or by removing the bacon fat from the skillet before adding the crème fraîche. But by all means, do not cut back on the amount of bacon!

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup sliced apple wood smoked bacon, cut into ¼-inch wide lardons
  • 2 cups crème fraîche
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground
  • black pepper to taste
  • fine sea salt to taste
  • 4 tablespoons fresh thinly sliced chives
  • 1½ cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces dried linguini

Instructions:

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat with salt.

2. To make the sauce, sauté the bacon over medium-low heat until crisp. Add the crème fraîche and bring to a simmer. Whisk the egg yolks into the sauce, add the black pepper and season to taste with salt. Reserve.

3. When ready to serve, cook the pasta in the boiling salted water to al dente. Drain the pasta.

4. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir in the chives and parmesan; let everything sit for one minute to properly absorb all of the flavors.

5. Transfer pasta to serving bowls and spoon some of the sauce over and around the pasta. Top with more grated Parmesan as desired and serve immediately.

Recipe source: Avec Eric

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