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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

BACON WHAT LOL (I've been near the Internet too long)

I swear I'm going grocery shopping today. Unfortunately, there is a forecast of two inches of snow. This means that the grocery store will be packed, because people are afraid of being snowed in and having to resort to cannibalism. I'm going in. If you don't hear from me in a day or two, it's because I cut a bitch in Whole Foods with a broken bottle of organic gluten-free beer and I'm in jail.

Spaghetti Carbonara is not exactly "healthy", per se, but it's tasty and filling and cheap. It is also made of things that I always have lying around the house: bacon, eggs, and pasta.

It can be a little tricky; the hot pasta cooks the eggs on contact. This means that you have to drain the pasta and immediately toss it with the egg mixture before the pasta starts to cool off. Now normally you want to get the pasta really drained and dry as to not water down your sauce, but in this case it's good to have some cooking water in there. Really the biggest hassle of this whole recipe is cooking the bacon. I have switched to the oven method and I am never going back. I heat my oven to 450 degrees. I line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, and I lay the bacon out on the paper. I pop the bacon on to the middle rack of oven for about 15 minutes. Keep an eye on it while it cooks. Cooking time depends on your oven, the thickness/fattiness of the bacon, and how crispy you like it. Flip the bacon strips halfway through, if you like. Remove the cookie sheet from the oven, transfer the bacon strips to a paper-towel lined plate to drain.

The benefits of this method are as follows:

1) You can cook a whole package of bacon at once. More than one package if you need to!
2) No splatter mess, and your hair/clothes/house don't get that grody cold grease smell.
3) Easy clean-up; Let the pan cool and the drippings solidify, and you just grab the parchment from the pan and throw it away. I don't have to drain hot grease into a jar like my mom used to, I don't have to scrub a pan.

I'm telling you, it's the best.

Okay, so here's what you do once you've got your bacon cooked up and ready to go:

Spaghetti Carbonara

1# dried spaghetti, linguini, or fettucini
1/2# cooked chopped bacon
4 large eggs
2T cooled melted butter
1c grated parmesan cheese
1 c chopped fresh spinach
s/p to taste

Cook pasta according to package directions, just in case you are unsure of how to cook pasta. I am not here to judge. While pasta is cooking, beat together eggs, cheese, and butter in a large bowl. Set aside. Right before draining pasta, reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain pasta, and add to egg/cheese mixture. Toss to coat, adding reserved cooking water a little at a time. The eggs will cook on contact, the cheese will melt, and the cooking water will thin it out into a sauce. You want to use the cooking water as opposed to regular hot water because the starch left by the cooking pasta is what holds the sauce together. Toss/mix in the bacon and the spinach and serve!

I was a little skeptical as to how this would taste as leftovers, but I reheated some in the microwave and it's still totally tasty.

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