Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Solo and Carbonara

Debbie picked up Joyce Goldstein's cookbook, Solo, which contains recipes scaled for a single person. We had intended to give it to my mom as a present, but somehow never quite got it in the mail. (Sorry, Mom!) In the meantime, I tried Goldstein's recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara, since she claims to have talked to people all over Rome until she got it right. It is the best version I've made--just like what you get in Rome. It scales up to more than one person just fine. I was fortunate to have guanciale from Salumi on hand, which I sliced into bacon-thick slices, and then into 1/4" pieces. The guanciale is then cooked in what seems like a lot of butter and olive oil (like 1 or 2 tablespoons of each) until it's cooked but not crispy. The spaghetti is cooked and then dumped into a mixture of eggs, egg yolks, grated parmesan, and ground black pepper. I think I used 4 eggs and 1 yolk for about 12oz of pasta, and maybe 1/2 cup of cheese. The pasta is tossed quickly to cook the eggs a bit but not dry them out. Then add the guanciale and some of the cooking liquid, and toss until it's creamy and the guanciale is well distributed.