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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, November 6, 2002

No-fear carbonara: the Marcella Hazan method

 •  Carbonara: Rehabilitating a classic recipe

Los Angeles Times

It isn't for those who are avoiding fat, salt or cholesterol. It isn't for people who feel it's too dangerous to use a recipe that calls for raw eggs. But here it is, the real thing: rich (but still somehow light) spaghetti carbonara. You can substitute linguini.

Marcella Hazan's Spaghetti Carbonara

  • 1/2 pound pancetta, cut in half-inch-thick slices, or its equivalent in good slab bacon
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 pounds spaghetti
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 ounce freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Salt

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Meanwhile, cut the pancetta or bacon into strips not quite a quarter-inch wide.

Lightly mash the garlic with a knife handle, enough to split the cloves and loosen the skin; discard the skin. Place the garlic and olive oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium high. When the garlic turns a deep gold, about 2 minutes, remove it and discard.

Place the strips of pancetta or bacon in the pan and cook until they just begin to crisp at the edges, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and let it bubble away for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn the heat off.

Add the spaghetti to the boiling water, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Break the eggs into the serving bowl in which you'll be tossing the pasta. Beat them lightly with a fork, then add the Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano, a liberal grinding of pepper and the chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly.

Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss rapidly, coating the strands well. Briefly reheat the pancetta or bacon over high heat, turn the entire contents into the bowl of spaghetti and toss thoroughly again. Serve at once.

Six servings. Each serving: 417 calories; 620 mg sodium; 98 mg cholesterol; 24 g fat; 8 g saturated fat; 28 g carbohydrates; 19 g protein; 1.69 g fiber.

Active work and total preparation time: 20 minutes.

Note: Although many recipes call for uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found them to be a potential carrier of food-borne illness and recommends that infants, the elderly and immuno-compromised people avoid raw eggs.