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Breakfast Carbonara

September 25, 2010

The 1996 Italian food film Big Night, peaked a decade too early.  Audiences today crave food truck wars, watching a man suffer through eating the world’s hottest-ghost-pepper-5lb-cheeseburger… in 20 minutes with no water, the next Top Chef, etc.  My son can watch a Pixar movie about a rat cooking haute cuisine.  So imagine the Stanley Tucci and Tony Shaloub film if it were released 14 years later in today’s food crazed world?  Remember that final scene in Big Night?  It is almost 5 minutes long, uncut, nearly wordless.  Probably one of the best endings to a movie in hollywood.  The two brothers have accepted the defeat of their faltering Italian restaurant in 1950’s New York and the next morning Stanley Tucci’s character cooks a breakfast frittata for his brother, whom he had just had a falling out with the previous night.  Imagine instead of a frittata, it was a carbonara cooked in that scene – it would have been perfect. 

There are hundreds of different variations to cooking carbonara.  Of course a food snob would tell you that the only way to make it is with egg yolk, pancetta, pepper, a spot of pecorino or parmesan, and served over linguine – with no cream!  The egg yolks added immediately after the pasta is pulled from the boiling water, cook ever so slightly and coat the pasta thickly.   This makes for a tasty dish – I love trying out restaurant’s different takes on carbonara.  You may find some that add cream, peas, mushrooms, or different herbs – none are sacrilege if you are cooking or enjoying great food.  I had a craving for some carbonara at 8:00 am this Saturday morning.  It has eggs, it has bacon.  So why can’t you add some pasta and call it breakfast?  I added a touch of cream and basil to mine.  I only had regular bacon, not pancetta, and the only pasta at hand was mostacolli.

This would serve about two people, and only takes about 10 minutes to make. 

  • 1/2 lb of mostacolli pasta
  • 4 egg yolks, whites discarded
  • 3 slices of bacon, or pancetta
  • 2 cloves of sliced garlic
  • 1/2 cup of parmesan
  • 3/4 cup of cream
  • 1 handful of torn basil   
  • salt and pepper

Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook your pasta, about 8 minutes.  While the pasta is cooking, place a small saute pan over medium heat, slice your bacon and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes.  In a mixing boil whisk your cream, egg yolks, parmesan and basil.  By this time your pasta should be just about finished.  Turn off heat, drain the pasta, and return to its hot cooking pot.  Pour the egg mixture over the pasta.  Add the bacon and garlic, and fold the ingredients together.  There should be just enough residual heat in the pot and pasta to lightly cook the eggs without making them too clumpy, you are aiming for a slightly viscous consistency.  Plate and season with salt and pepper, not too much salt as the parmesan already brings a degree of salty-ness with it.



















4 Comments leave one →
  1. April 16, 2012 2:01 pm

    Cream?? Where would these miners (carbonara) get cream? Cheese: yes. Pancetta: yes. Dried pasta: yes. Eggs: yes. Garlic: yes. Maybe even basil. But cream? Nay…

  2. June 16, 2012 4:52 pm

    eh. I love cream. I don’t discriminate “pure” food

    Loved this recipe


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