24 February 2009

Spaghetti Carbonara, or Recession Pasta My Way

I'm a big fan of pasta, and I'm an even bigger fan of cheap pasta. In these "troubled times" I've found more and more that these two qualifications are just enough to lure folks over to the dark side of simplicity. I place "troubled times" in quotations because really: a) I've never been a big spender. I don't subscribe to cable and I don't own any fancy electronics (I still have no clue how to use an Ipod); b) I'm a grad student in the humanities, so being paid less than the poverty level isn't really new to me. What the hell does that mean? Well, I've always cooked with a miserly set of mind, and if I can fit this dish into my cheap budget, then it's golden. Hello Recession Pasta!!

So to begin, five or six slices of cheap or really good bacon will work just the same, at least to this starving home cook. I used a nice thick cut from the Moscow Co-Op, but I usually don't buy meat from the Co-Op. Anything will do really.

Chop your bacon into pieces and then fry it up. Once it's done (I never time this) remove from pan and drain on a paper towel. Reserve about 2 tbs. of bacon grease and pour out the rest (I save the rest for Sunday morning potatoes!). Turn off heat and then re-heat to about a medium heat, and add one chopped onion. Once the onion is just about translucent, add two or three minced garlic cloves and reduce heat to medium low. Then add about a pound of cooked pasta (I use whole grain for nutrition, but any thin spaghetti will work--I've even used farfalle before) and toss to coat with the bacon grease. Add bacon, 3 beaten eggs, 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan or Romano cheese (I used Romano because it adds a depth that Parmesan can't for my tastes), a handful of frozen peas and 2 tbs. chopped fresh flat leaf parsley. Toss to coat and cook over medium low heat for a few minutes, or just until the eggs set.

Note: I often beat the eggs beforehand with the cheese and parsley and let it sit to room temp. It helps to ensure the eggs don't overcook.

Mmmmmmmm bacon.

Fully combined and ready for consumption.....and fully ready for CHEAP consumption.


Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

I guess it's a good thing I love carbs, they're almost always cheap. Are you still coming to NY in March?

EMC said...

We moved our trip to NY to June so I don't have to take off any work/teaching time. I plan on coming back about 15 lbs. heavier!

Jessica@Foodmayhem said...

Oh, can't wait! Hope you get to take advantage of some great deals out there now...have you check out travelzoo's top 20?

EMC said...

Oh yeah, I'm all over it! I also have a great list of Serious Eats spots that I need to try. Last time I was in NYC I spent a little too much time in Brooklyn, so I'm looking to rectify that this coming summer.