This Mary Ann Esposito recipe changed my life. Okay, I know that sounds melodramatic but I really do mean it. With only Gene and I to cook for, no matter how many times we vow to not order out and to not succumb to the convenience of processed foods, the fact is there are nights when cooking seems too big of a chore for either of us. This recipe is our salvation. FIVE ingredients and they are all things we keep in our pantry/fridge: pasta, parmesan cheese, eggs, olive oil, and pancetta (or bacon, which I keep cooked up, crumbled, and in the freezer for uses such as this).
The entire meal takes five minutes longer than the time it takes to cook the pasta, and voila, it's eatin' time!
And to make this deal even sweeter? Because the sauce is made by the eggs and cheese, it's not even the caloric downfall that fast food Italian restaurants' versions are when they use Alfredo sauce. This is the real deal Carbonara and it's delicious without being stomach-achingly heavy.
recipe by Mary Ann Esposito, Ciao Italia Five Ingredient Favorites
Directions: While the water for pasta is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in s mall saute' pan, stir in the pancetta, and cook until crispy (or bacon is warmed). Set aside, still in the pan and keep it warm.
Cook the spaghetti in 4 quarts of rapidly boiling salted water. Al dente means still firm to the bite but no uncooked flour is visible in the enter when a strand of the spaghetti is broken in half.
Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1/4 cup of the water (Cook's note: I used this to de-glaze the pancetta pan). Immediately return the spaghetti to the pot and, keeping the heat very low, rapidly stir in the eggs, reserved water, and half the cheese. Toss to combine. Add the reserved pancetta and any pan drippings. Stir well. Add a generous grinding of coarse black pepper. Transfer the pasta to a platter and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Serve immediately.
Optional: Add chunked rotisserie chicken.
Nutrition counts per one cup: Calories: 343, Protein: 14, Carbs: 28, Fat: 18, Fiber: 3; Weight Watchers Points: 8 plus 1/2 of a healthy oils serving