March 13, 2010

Pasta Carbonara

So, I made pasta carbonara for the first time. I know right? All this time and I've never had it. I just held it in my arsenal of quick, simple, I know it's gonna be great recipes.
But I was disappointed. I feel sad even saying it. I mean, this dish should be elevated to gourmet standing by its salty, rich and decadent preparation of simple, fresh ingredients. But I found myself eating it, thinking 'meh.' Really, just meh. The only explanation. So sad.
And I feel confident that I prepared it well. I used good ingredients- diced pancetta (OK, maybe I used bacon, but I don't feel that is a mitigating factor), Piave cheese, fresh herbs, and local, organic eggs. You can also sautee some diced onions in with your pork fat. So, I cooked up my bacon, while simultaneously boiling pasta...

Come go time, I drained the pasta (while reserving a cup of cooking liquid), tossed in two scrambled eggs, a generous amount of cheese, the cooked bacon and herbs. I added some cooking water to loosen the sauce and make it saucey. What was I missing that would take this dish from the meh to the transcendent, like I was expecting? My friend Kat suggested white wine? 

 Dear readers, please save this bufuddled cook who can't understand how you can ever go wrong with pasta, cheese, and bacon.