Creme Fraiche Spaghetti Carbonara

Creme Fraiche Spaghetti Carbonara

Lady and the Tramp’s Delight

*singing Sinatra* That’s why the lady’s a tramp! Oh, hey. Didn’t see you there.  Were your ears burning? I was singing a song about you.

I definitely felt a burning, but it wasn’t my ears –  did you light that effigy you made of me? I’ll forgive your voodoo assassination attempt and your slightly too close to home Sinatra reference if you tell me what you’ve got cooking there…

One of my faves for late night endeavors!  Nothing says fuel for filthy exploits more than a mess of tangled spaghetti swimming in bacon and cream.  The kind of food you can eat semi-naked, directly out of the pot, sharing a single fork with a friend as you slurp up strand after strand of the deliciousness.

Did you say bacon AND cream, together? Making sweet, passionate pasta perfection? Mm. Hm. You’re right, why even bother with the plates, plates are so extraneous when the food is so sexy. Its sort of like wearing panties on a night you know you’re gonna get lucky. Why bother having to wash either if you don’t need know?

That’s my Eve – long on sass, short on panties…speaking of the long and short of it, if the length of your “companionship” is short, feel free to kick your late night friend to the curb before you make this one.  It’s just as sexy eaten all by your lonesome, and you won’t be bothered to share after you tell your partner in crime to hit the bricks.

Creme Fraiche Spaghetti Carbonara

1 lb. of spaghetti
1 c. of creme fraiche (purchased or homemade)
2 eggs
1 tbs. of olive oil
½ lb. of guanciale or pancetta, diced into small pieces
2 cl. of garlic, minced
1 c. of pecorino romano, plus more for garnish
freshly cracked black pepper

  1. So the skinny on creme fraiche – it’s a deliciously wicked sour cream that’s lighter in flavor (think tart rather than sour), and thicker in consistency, almost the texture of buttercream icing.  It’s fabulous in sweet and savory contexts, and even more fabulous for spreading all over your face.  You can buy it at specialty markets, but since it can be pricey, you can make it yourself.  Simply add 2 tablespoons of buttermilk to a cup of heavy cream and (gasp!) leave it on the counter for a day (12-18 hours).  I’m not shitting you.  The acid in the buttermilk creates a bacterial reaction that thickens the cream without spoiling the kitty.
  2. This is one case where skinny is better. We definitely like this dish with spaghetti as opposed to other types of pasta. So much more slurpy satisfaction going on.  I like Spaghetti Rigate because it’s, you know, ribbed for your pleasure.
  3. Begin by bringing a large pot of salty water (think briny sea water) to a boil.
  4. While the water heats up, prep your bacon.  All dirty girls should definitely try to “woman up” and get with the guanciale, a special type of cured bacon made from the jowl of the pig. With its delicate salty flavor and rosy ribbons of fat, it’s totally the king of carbonara.  If you can’t find guanciale, pancetta or thick slab bacon make good substitutes.  Warm a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil.  Add the guanciale and brown until crisp, rendering the fat as you go.
  5. Turn off the heat, add the garlic and stir until fragrant.
  6. In a small bowl, add the two eggs, pecorino romano and plenty of freshly cracked pepper.  Scramble well and then stir in the creme fraiche.  When the spaghetti is perfectly al dente, you’ll need to work quickly. Scoop out a scant half cup of water from the boiling pasta pot and set aside. Drain the pasta and then put it back in the pot.  Grab a pair of tongs and while tossing the pasta, stream in the egg/creme fraiche mixture.  You’ll need to keep tossing to form a smooth sauce without scrambling the eggs.  This is not the time to fuck around with some multitasking – the spaghetti gets 100% of your love.  Add the bacon and garlic and continue to toss.  If the sauce is a little thick, dribble in some of the reserved pasta water to thin it out a bit.
  7. Either dole out portions into warmed bowls and top with extra pecorino romano OR hitch up your panties, grab a fork and twirl away directly from the pot.  You’re welcome.

This recipe is equally slurp-worthy with artichokes replacing the pancetta.  Follow the recipe as listed above, but when you get to step 4, do this instead.  Drain and chop a can of artichokes and warm in a skillet with a bit of olive oil.  Proceed with step 5.  Although I love Pasta ai Carciofi (italian for Pasta with Artichokes – not complicated here, people) with spaghetti, it’s even better with penne and fresh parsley in lieu of chives.  Get some.

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