Monthly Archives: April 2011

Cornbread Fail!

This is just a quick note because I thought it was funny. Yesterday, Travis went to see a movie with a friend, and I decided to bake while he was gone.

One would think that I would learn from my prior cooking failures, but unfortunately that is not the case. This is the second time in the last few months that I have cooked something in this loaf pan that overflowed into the oven. Sigh.

At least this time I had a cookie sheet under it to keep it from making such a big mess. In retrospect, I don’t know if it’s better or worse that I suspected it might happen again but did it anyway…

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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

I made this pasta recently, and it was so simple and so delicious. It’s rich but not too heavy, and the leftovers were tasty as well. Most carbonara recipes use heavy cream, but this one does not. I suppose that’s probably why it feels a bit less dense.

I think this is a good dish to make on the weekend in that it looks really impressive, but it still leaves you with plenty of time to enjoy your weekend too. This is not the first time a pasta dish has surprised me – the recipes always seem so easy, but the end result is so elegant and so tasty. Sometimes I can hardly believe that I made it myself!

The recipe is from the America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook, which Travis’s parents got me for Christmas and is quickly becoming one of my favorite cooking resources.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Ingredients:

3 large eggs
1 1/2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (3/4 cup)
1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 ounces bacon (8 slices) chopped fine
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt
1 pound spaghetti
pepper

Directions:

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lowest position, place a large serving bowl on the rack, and heat the oven to 200 degrees. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot for the spaghetti.

2. Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, cheeses, and garlic together and set aside.

3. Cook the bacon and olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat until the bacon is crisp, about 8 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until it is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cover.

4. When the water is boiling, stir in 1 tablespoon salt and the spaghetti. Cook, stirring often, until the spaghetti is almost tender but still a little firm to the bite.

5. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water then drain the spaghetti, leaving it slightly wet. Remove the warm bowl from the oven and add the spaghetti. Immediately pour the egg and bacon mixtures over the spaghetti and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the reserved pasta water as needed to loosen the sauce before serving.