Bon Appétit (January 2009)
This pasta is from a mouth-watering feature in the January issue of Bon Appétit called "Anything With an Egg on Top." The photo of this carbonara -- served with a delectable, gooey fried egg -- looked so wonderful, it made us want to forget any healthy eating we were attempting to do in the New Year.
Funny thing, though. The magazine put the dish on the cover sans its central (and most indulgent): the big, nasty, delicious fried egg itself.
Maybe with so many people trying to eat right in the new year, Bon Appétit thought that showing the carbonara in all its fried egg glory was just too much for more delicate readers.
But we were willing to give it a try.
We love pasta carbonara. It's so richly satisfying, with the sumptuous, comforting tastes of bacon and cheese. And we adore eggs in every form. So we were sure to love this dish.
Seriously, what's not to love?
As it turns out, unfortunately, there's a lot not to love about this dish.
This pasta is a great big bowl of "meh."
The whole thing seemed underseasoned. Maybe there's not enough cheese in the recipe? Maybe we undersalted?
The fried egg, which seems so decadently naughty on top of (what should be) an already rich dish, fizzled. It didn't really add anything.
And the broccoli rabe was a twist on carbonara we were excited to try. But it ended up making the entire dish taste kind of stale and earthy (and not earthy in a good way).
If you're wanting to make carbonara, we recommend using Nigella Lawson's recipe, which we've made several times and love. In fact, the recipe was featured on the Solitary Sensations episode of her show. It may very well be the most comforting hour of television we've ever seen.
Set your DVRs.
And make Nigella's carbonara.
Sure, it's not the healthiest, but that's okay.
You deserve it.
Fettuccine Carbonara with Fried Eggs
(This photo: Bon Appétit)
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 oz thinly sliced pancetta (Italian bacon), finely chopped
12 oz egg fettuccine
1 medium bunch broccoli rabe (rapini), cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Cook pasta in large pot of boiling salted water until almost tender (about 3 minutes less than package directions); add broccoli rabe. Cook just until broccoli rabe is crisp-tender and pasta is tender, about 3 minutes longer. Drain pasta-broccoli rabe mixture, reserving 1/2 cup cooking liquid.
Return hot pasta-broccoli rabe mixture to pot (off heat). Immediately add egg-cheese mixture, pancetta, and 1/4 cup hot cooking liquid; toss to combine, adding more cooking liquid by tablespoonfuls to moisten as needed. Season to taste with salt and more pepper, if desired. Cover to keep warm.
Heat skillet with drippings over medium heat. Crack remaining 4 eggs into skillet; sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook until whites are opaque, about 2 minutes. Carefully turn eggs over; cook just until whites are set but yolks are still soft, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat.
Top pasta with eggs and serve.