Comforting Spaghetti Carbonara
Have you ever had a craving for a particular recipe only to discover that you’re missing one or two ingredients? Frustrating, initially, but not, ultimately, a problem. Unless, of course, you’re craving a perfectly grilled striploin, and you’re short on steak. Usually, a slight change to the recipe can result in an amazing rendition of a dish that can completely sate your desire.
That’s the spot I was in last night. Wanting a quick, comforting, simple dinner, I rummaged through my fridge and pantry only to discover that I was short on most items. Hmm, spaghetti, eggs and parmesan. I had the beginnings of a great spaghetti carbonara. There was only one problem: I was missing the all important pancetta. I didn’t even have a rasher or two of regular, strip bacon in the freezer. What I did have, was a few slices of homemade salami. My parents still make their own prosciutto, salami, sausages, and lots of other foodstuffs that delight my foodie soul.
Salami does not release its oil like bacon. So, I added a few tablespoons of olive oil. If there’s anything about spaghetti carbonara that can sometimes throw people off, it’s the fact that raw eggs are poured over the pasta. You’re not actually raw, runny yolk. The heat of the pasta (having just drained it) will actually cook the egg without scrambling it. The result is a smooth and creamy consistency. The key is making sure that the heat under the pot has been turned off. Pour the egg and cheese mixture right over the hot pasta, stir for about 30 seconds, and voilà; you’ve got a great meal in minutes.