There is nothing I like more than throwing a good party. I’ve always enjoyed entertaining but over the years, my idea of a good party has changed considerably.
In college, parties consisted of frozen appetizers and big pots of pasta with semi-homemade sauces, punches spiked with cheap vodka and decorations procured at Wal*Mart (on one particular shopping excursion my roommate and I were buying fake snow and a few other frivolous party necessities and our cashier candidly informed us that she couldn’t afford a Christmas present for her kid. That was awkward).
Now, my parties are slightly more elegant…or at least, my cooking skills have improved considerably and I can afford better vodka. The one thing that hasn’t changed is that when you want to feed a crowd, there is no better bargain than pasta.
Carbonara is a simple, but indulgent dish that you can make for any occasion — from Wednesday impromptu date night to a low key dinner party.
- ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 4 ounces uncooked center cut bacon, diced
- 1 pound fresh linguine
- 3 large egg yolks, at room temperature
- ½ cup heavy cream, at room temperature
- ¾ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, at room temperature
- Freshly ground black pepper
- In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add onion and bacon and cook until the onions are translucent and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Remove from the heat and set aside.
- Cook the linguine according to package directions until al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain pasta in a colander and reserve a small amount of the hot pasta water in a small bowl. Return pasta to the pot. Return the pot to the heat and add the reserved bacon and onion mixture. Stir over high heat until the pasta and bacon mixture are thoroughly blended.
- Whisk the egg yolks and heavy cream together in a small bowl. Add the combination to the pasta and toss. Add the parmesan and toss until the entire mixture is well-coated. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.
- TIP: If the pasta is dry, you can add a bit of the reserved cooking water. It has enough starch from the pasta to help bind your sauce. Serve immediately.