Detour: Special Pasta

As you are aware, I occasionally (okay...once) like to feature a non-baked good on here because it's just so darn good I want to share it with the world!  If you've known me or my husband for more than a month or two, then you've heard about our "Special Pasta."  Just sitting here actually writing out "Special Pasta" makes me laugh, because it's so funny that we call it that.  We made it last night, though, and in light of our 1 year anniversary (of marriage) coming up in a little over a week, I thought it would be great to share it with all of you.  Let's start with a story...

Most of you know that I met my husband when we were in high school.  I was 14 and he was 17, and much to the chagrin of our parents (helloooo drama!) we fell for each other HARD.  I was a preppy kid in Gap jeans and cardigan sweaters, he was a metal head with spiky hair and scary chains.  We were both in marching band, and he was probably the most charming individual I had ever met.  The years that followed were filled with love notes, late night phone calls (BEFORE cell phones! We used calling cards! Ha!), and flower-filled lockers when he came home from college for a weekend.

Okay, okay, enough with the mush.  Where did the pasta come from?!

One year for Valentine's Day I went to OU to celebrate with him.  He decided that we were going to take over his crazy little apartment (everything was brick! The floor, the walls...seriously...EVERYTHING) and have a romantic dinner.  We went back and forth on what to make, and finally he settled on a Rachael Ray recipe for "Bacon and Egg Coal Miner's Pasta (aka Rigatoni alla Carbonara)."  We. loved. it.  We also changed the bejeesus out of it for two reasons:

1. Pancetta-Have you ever been to Athens, OH?  Great place for a Halloween Party, bad place to find out-of-the-norm foods.  When we inquired if the deli had pancetta at the local Kroger, we were asked, "Paynchetta? Is that sum kahnd of cheeese?" Mmmhmm.  We smiled, thanked her for her help, and got a package of center cut bacon.

2. Quantity-Being the true blue Americans that we are, we added the whole package of bacon, pretty much doubled the cheese, and upped the ante on the crushed red pepper. Mmmm...

So because "Bacon and Egg Coal Miner's Pasta: Rigatoni alla Carbonara" is kind of a mouthful, we just started calling it "That special pasta from Valentine's Day," which was eventually shortened to "Special Pasta."  Over the years we've made it for so many people, even our friends know what "Special Pasta" is!  So after countless requests for the recipe, I'm sharing it with you.  I sincerely hope you enjoy what has become our signature dish!

Special Pasta
adapted from Rachael Ray's Bacon and Egg Coal Miner's Pasta

  • 1 pkg center cut bacon (less fatty)
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced (yes...5.  Don't skimp. Bacon+garlic=heaven)
  • 1 lb rigatoni (any pasta will do, I actually really enjoy this with Farfalle as well)
  • 1/2 C grated parmesan cheese (buy the block of cheese and grate it yourself. SO much tastier! Cheese was not meant to come from a can, people)
  • 1 handful of flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1/2 C white wine (chicken stock only in a pinch, the wine is WAY better)
  • 2 egg yolks
  • plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Fill large pot with water to boil for pasta
Have your loving husband slice the bacon into small strips (naturally, you can do this on your own, but this is one of those recipes that really works best with two people).  Heat a large pan with high sides on medium-high heat, add bacon.  Be sure to drain bacon fat from the pan with a large spoon as much as you can.  If you leave it, it will be greasy, and not-so-tasty.  Once the bacon starts to look halfway cooked, add pasta to your boiling water.  It's better to be a little late adding the pasta, than early.  When you add the pasta in the end, it should be very hot.

While husband is cooking the bacon, chop the parsley, grate the cheese, and stir together in a bowl with the egg yolks and black pepper.  Add a large spoonful of the boiling pasta water to the egg/cheese mixture and stir rapidly to temper the eggs.  Add water until it's creamy and easy to stir with a fork, but not too runny (this is usually about 3 spoonfuls for us...but it will depend on your spoon!).  Set aside.

When bacon is just starting to look crisp, add garlic and crushed red pepper and stir rapidly, (careful not to burn it!!!) until garlic is just softened.  Add white wine to the pan, and deglaze.  Be sure to scrape the pan to loosen tasty bits that may have been sticking.  When wine is reduced by half, turn off the heat. 

When pasta has finished cooking, drain in a colander (DO NOT RINSE-you want the pasta to stay starchy so the cheese mixture adheres to it), and transfer hot pasta into pan with bacon.  Toss to combine.  Finish by adding egg/cheese mixture and toss well until pasta is coated.

Serve in your favorite bowl, plate, or as we're fond of: the blate (bowl...plate...blate...get it? This one is from Williams Sonoma.  Thanks, Mom!).  Finish with a little grated parmesan, and devour.  This recipe can also be doubled, and devoured as leftovers.


Anonymous said...

ahhh you're too cute! this sounds delish!!!

Shannon said...

YUM! Such a sweet story :)

Post a Comment

Write here, about you and your blog.
Copyright 2009 Give Me Some Sugar All rights reserved.
Blogger Templates created by Deluxe Templates
Blogspot Templates From Wordpress Theme by EZwpthemes