American Farmhouse Style
BACON & EGGS SPAGHETTI
In TheEssentialsofItalianCooking, Marcella Hazan writes about the rumored history of carbonara: “During the last days of World War II, American soldiers in Rome who had made friends with local families would bring them eggs and bacon and ask them to turn them into pasta sauce.” Naturally, this meant adding cheese. But what if they had just stuck with eggs, bacon, and pasta? You’d get something like this.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED:
• Kosher salt
• 8 ounces (225g) spaghetti
• 3 large eggs
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 3 large egg yolks
• 4 thick slices bacon, halved crosswise WHAT YOU’LL DO:
1. Add 5 cups (1.2L) water to a pot and bring to a boil. Season with ½ teaspoon salt. Add the spaghetti, encouraging it into the water, and cook for 7 to 8 minutes, until al dente.
2. Meanwhile, add the bacon to a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Cook for about 7 minutes, flipping halfway through, until it’s as crunchy as you like. Transfer to a plate and pour almost all the fat into a heatproof measuring cup, leaving about 1 tablespoon in the pan.
3. With the heat still at medium, crack 2 eggs into the skillet and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny.
4. Combine the egg yolks and the remaining whole egg in a medium heatproof bowl, season with ½ teaspoon pepper, and beat with a fork. While stirring, slowly, drizzle in the reserved bacon fat to temper the yolks.
5. When the spaghetti is almost done, drop the heat to low, and scoop out 1 cup (240ml) pasta water with the emptied heatproof measuring cup. While stirring, slowly drizzle half of the pasta water into the egg-bacon fat mixture. Use tongs to add the spaghetti.
6. Set the bowl over the simmering pot, still over low heat. The bowl should be hovering above the water (discard or add water if needed). Use tongs to toss the spaghetti until the sauce becomes creamy, and thick enough to cling to the noodles, adding more pasta water if needed.
7. Divide the saucy spaghetti between two plates. Top each with an egg, half the bacon, and more black pepper.