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By this time in February, the larder is empty from the last harvest. We’ve eaten all of our home-grown white potatoes, sweet potatoes, and green peas (which we shelled and froze). We still have some garlic left, but the cloves are soft and sprouting. What should we eat on these dreary days?

Spaghetti Carbonara, of course! The chickens are still producing eggs (one egg per chicken per day) and we have seven buff orpingtons. Carbonara sauce is delicious any time of day — breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner. Homemade pasta (see directions here) makes this simple dish spectacular. We’ll be eating a lot of carbonara for the next month.

Spaghetti Carbonara for Two

  • homemade pasta dough cut into long strips (quantity: 1 cup of flour)
  • 4 strips of bacon or 4 ounces pancetta
  • 1 shallot or 1 leek (white part) or 2 cloves of garlic or 1/2 onion, sliced
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • salt and lots of freshly-ground black pepper
  • lots and lots of freshly-grated parmesan cheese

In a large skillet, cook the bacon until crisp, then remove and crumble. Pour off all but several tablespoons of the bacon fat. In the fat, saute your choice of aromatic until translucent. Remove from heat and return the bacon, add the cream and salt and pepper. Whisk in one whole egg and two egg whites, saving the other two yolks for finishing the dish. Boil the pasta and drain and immediately toss with the sauce. Add cheese to taste. Divide the pasta between two plates, make a divot in the center, and place the egg yolk. Serve immediately.

Some cooks add mushrooms to carbonara sauce, but that addition is just wrong.

One Comment for “Comfort Food in a Changing Climate: Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe”  

  1. Karen

    Pasta carbonara is the one meal that makes my six-year-old jump for sheer joy.

    And I agree with you that mushrooms are not welcome in carbonara!