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Spaghetti Alla Carbonara / Spaghetti with Egg and Bacon Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons soft butter
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 6 to 8 quarts water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti, spaghettini, or linguine
  • 8 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Serves 4.. In a small bowl, cream the butter until soft and fluffy. Set aside. In another small bowl, beat the eggs and egg yolks with a fork until they are well blended, then stir in 1/2 cup of the grated cheese. Set aside. Bring water and salt to a boil in large kettle. Add pasta. Stir for a minute so it won't stick. Cook over high heat, stirring from time to time, until tender (usually 7 to 12 minutes.) While pasta cooks, fry bacon in heavy skillet over moderate heat until crisp. Pour off about half the bacon grease, then stir in red pepper (if you're using it) and then the cream. (BTW, even though the recipe calls for red papper flakes, I usually used ground red pepper. It works really well in this dish!) Bring the bacon-pepper-cream mixture to a simmer and keep it warm until the pasta is done. This is the tricky part. From here on, work as quickly as possible. The success of this dish hinges on keeping everything as hot as you can while you assemble the thing. Anyway, when spaghetti is cooked, drain it completely. Return it to the (hopefully still hot) kettle. Stir in the creamed butter, tossing to coat all strands. Then stir in the bacon-pepper-cream mixture, then finally, stir in the egg-cheese mixture, mixing everything together thoroughly. Hopefully, the heat of the pasta, etc. will cook the eggs on contact. Season to taste with salt and peper. Pass remaining cheese for topping.

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