A small amount of the pasta's cooking liquid is whisked into the egg mixture to prevent the eggs from overcooking when added to the hot pasta. This procedure, called tempering, results in a rich, creamy sauce that easily coats the noodles.
8 ounces uncooked spaghetti
1/2 cup (2 ounces) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1 large egg white
1/2 cup chopped pancetta (about 2 ounces)
2 cups thinly sliced leek (about 2 large)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
Combine cheese, pepper, salt, egg, and egg white in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Gradually add the reserved 1/4 cup cooking liquid to egg mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.
Cook pancetta in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp. Remove pancetta from pan, reserving drippings in pan; set pancetta aside. Add leek to drippings in pan, and sauté 4 minutes. Add garlic to pan; sauté for 1 minute. Add pasta, cheese mixture, and pancetta to pan; reduce heat, and cook 1 minute, tossing well to coat. Cook 1 minute. Sprinkle with parsley; serve immediately.
Flavors were ok - I used 2 whole eggs - but the pancetta didn't leave oil to saute the leeks in and the whole dish came out pretty dry. The family wasn't that enthusiastic so I probably wouldn't make this again.
tasty enough as a low cal substitute for heavy cream carbonara
would not cook pancetta too long or crispy really becomes crunchy
didn't find leeks need to be sauteed for a full 4 minutes, onions would work just as well
could use more flavor, seemed to take quite a bit of prep work
This is a great healthy version of TRUE carbonara. Having traveled to Italy several times and taking cooking lessons while there, true carbonara has no cream in it. It is pasta, egg yolks, cheese, pepper and pancetta or prosciutto. This version has leeks in which is not in a true Italian version, but those who are used to America's Italian chain restaurant version of carbonara might like the extra flavor. We leave it out. When I'm in the mood for a healthy version as well as not making homemade pasta, we turn to this.
I make this regularly and use two whole eggs (yolks and all - egg white doesn't have enough flavor). I add half to two-thirds of a cup of dry white wine to the leek/garlic mixture and simmer couple of minutes until the liquid is down to about a third of what I oringinally added. I also use more salt and parmesan than this recipe calls for - but not a lot. A little extra salt really brings out the flavors.
This was delicious--I just used up some thin sliced ham I had in the freezer and substituted 1 c. onion for the leeks. 2 oz. of parmesan measured about a cup and a half when grated on my microplane. I weighed it out of curiosity. Also added at least 1/2 cup of pasta water when tempering the egg & cheese mixture. Oh, and I had a head of roasted garlic I squeezed in.