18 April 2013

It's time again for the Improv Challenge.  The premise of the Improv Challenge is easy: each month there are two assigned ingredients.  The participants must make a recipe using both ingredients and blog about it.

The assigned ingredients this month were bacon and eggs.  I didn't get too creative this time, but I did use this opportunity to try a classic dish that I had been wanting to make for a long time.  Pasta Carbonara.  I've always been intrigued by it.  Pasta (usually spaghetti) tossed with bacon and a sauce made of eggs and cheese.  How can eggs make a pasta sauce?  How do they not scramble?  I don't really know the answer, but I'm guessing maybe it has something to do with the fact that the eggs are mixed with cheese before being added to the hot pasta.  Whatever the science behind it, it makes a really tasty pasta dish.  You can find a million recipes for pasta or spaghetti carbonara online, but I based mine off of the one I saw Lucinda Scala Quinn make on Mad Hungry.  

Pasta Carbonara

½ lb. spaghetti or other pasta
½ lb. bacon, sliced into ½” pieces
2 large eggs
⅔ cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving (optional)

Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat and cook the spaghetti. 

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until just crispy, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain all but 1 tbsp of the fat. Drain the pasta, add to the bacon in the pan, and toss to combine.
Whisk together the eggs and cheese in a small bowl. Pour into the pasta, and combine thoroughly. 

Serve immediately with extra grated cheese, if desired.

Makes 4 servings.

So simple and so tasty.  I just love how it only has four ingredients.  Easy peasy!  I actually already had some bacon that I cooked the day before, so I just chopped it up, melted 1 tbsp of the fat that I had stashed in the freezer, and tossed the vermicelli in it.  I was really worried that the eggs would scramble when I added them to the hot pasta, but they didn't.  They (along with the freshly grated cheese) just made a beautiful, creamy sauce.  You can't see it very well in the pictures, but it's there.  I was going to add a chiffonade of basil on top for garnish, but I forgot.

The only negative about this dish is that the leftovers aren't so great.  The pasta absorbs the sauce and it turns out kinda dry.  So don't plan to make more than you think you'll eat.  This dish is best served immediately.

I'm so glad I got this little push to finally try this yummy dish.  Check out all the other bacon and egg dishes below and come back next month to see what I make with cinnamon and sugar.

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  1. Simple and pretty!

  2. Oh, how I love this dish! Well done, Lesa!

  3. I love love pasta carbonara but strangely I don't make it all that often - thanks for the inspiration to fix that!

  4. Hi, Lesa, I commented on your FB page because somehow I missed where to comment on your site. But the vision has cleared and I am even more appreciative of your very gourmet but do-able pasta carbonara =)

  5. This is one of my favorite quick dinners. Looks great!

  6. Mel @ Ginger BakesApril 18, 2013 at 7:26 PM

    Looks great! What a simple and easy dish!

  7. Kate | Food BabblesApril 19, 2013 at 7:29 PM

    Yum! I love pasta carbonara. What a great use for your eggs and bacon.

  8. My absolute favorite pasta dish! yum!

  9. Thanks for posting this. I haven’t made it in a long time and it’s soooo good.

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