Spaghetti Carbonara

In my house this is often referred to as “Bacon and Egg Noodles.” It is another quick dish beloved by my children and their friends: it has the requisite and perfect combination of salty and creamy flavors.

You can substitute prosciutto or ham for the bacon, and add fresh or frozen green peas. Serve the pasta with a salad and a loaf of bread.

Serves 4.

1 pound spaghetti or linguini
½ to 1 pound bacon, chopped, or 2 ounces prosciutto or pancetta, chopped
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh Italian flat-leaf parsley leaves

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until al dente.

2. While the pasta is cooking, place the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat and cook until it is browned and rendered of fat, about 10 minutes. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add the wine and bring to a boil. Set aside. (This can be done up to 8 hours ahead.)

3. Place the cheese, eggs, and egg yolks in a large serving bowl and mix until smooth. Using tongs, gradually transfer the pasta from cooking pot to the egg mixture. (The pasta should be quiet wet, but even so, reserve a little bit of the pasta water in case you need to thin the sauce.) While you are adding the pasta, mix it in with the egg mixture. Continue adding pasta and mixing it until you have used it all. At the very end, it may be necessary to use a colander to drain off the remaining water. Add the bacon mixture and the parsley, and serve immediately.

From The $50 Dinner Party: 26 Dinner Parties That Won’t Break Your Bank, Your Back, or Your Schedule (Simon & Schuster, 1998)