Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fettuccine carbonara with asparagus and a fried egg

I have tried several versions of this classic Italian dish, but honestly, my favorite is the one I developed below.  When done right, the warm egg yolk melts into the dish, creating a creamy, hearty fettucine dish exploding with flavors.  This recipe is extremely easy, and one that you simply have to try.  I hope you enjoy!


8 large eggs
1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
2/3 cup fresh grated romano cheese
1 T cracked black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream
5 minced garlic cloves
2 shallots, diced
2 T extra virgin olive oil
4 oz pancetta, chopped (bacon can be substituted)
1 cup asparagus, sliced to 1/4 inch pieces

(1) In a medium bowl, combine 4 of the eggs with both cheeses, the pepper, and heavy cream.

Pancetta (salt-cured pork belly) is very similar to bacon, which may be substituted...

Shallots are like sweeter, milder onions...

(2) In a small skillet, warm the olive oil, and lightly saute the chopped pancetta, minced garlic, and diced shallots until beginning to brown.  Set aside, but reserve the drippings in the skillet.

(3) Boil pasta as directed.  Add the asparagus for the last three minutes of boiling.  If you are following this recipe using homemade noodles, then the pasta and asparagus can boil together for about three minutes, or until desired firmness is reached.

 (4) Strain the pasta and asparagus, and return immediately to the pot.

(5) Quickly stir cheese mixture into the hot noodles.  The heat will cook the eggs.  If you want to ensure cooking, you may stir noodles briefly over very low heat.  Be careful, as excessive heating will scramble the eggs.

(6) Gently toss in the shallots, pancetta, and garlic.

(7) In the reserved drippings, lightly fry the remaining eggs, keeping a soft center.  Top each dish with a fried egg, and serve.

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