Friday, May 19, 2006

Pasta Carbonara and Salty Oats Cookies

Thanks once again to Amy for her permission to use and reprint her recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara. This was perfect; it was written for two servings. Forgive me, Amy, but I added about a quarter cup of heavy cream to the egg-Parmesan mixture. Also, I added back in the crumbled bacon and garnished with chopped Italian parsley. Yummy!! Here's the recipe, with my revisions.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, smashed with the side of a knife
4 slices diced bacon
2 eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 pound of spaghetti or bucatini or linguini
1/3 cup grated Pecorino or Parmigiano (or combination)
salt fresh ground black pepper
chopped parsley

Bring salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm. Drain the pasta, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water to use in the sauce if needed to thin it out a bit. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon, and saute until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss a smashed clove of garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to flavor the oil, then remove it. Remove half of the bacon grease and save the rest for another purpose. Beat the eggs, cream and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps, set aside. Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the skillet and toss to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, toss the spaghetti quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (that is why you do this off the heat) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. The sauce should be creamy, not "scrambled egg" crumbly. Season with lots of freshly ground black pepper, a sprinkle more of grated cheese and taste for salt. Sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Serves 2 people.

For dessert I made this cookie recipe from Bakingsheet called Salty Oats. The sprinkling of kosher salt on top and the exclusion of salt in the dough intrigued me. These were a snap to throw together and if using 1/4 cup dough for each, it made 15 large cookies. Eddie and I had to "test" one after they cooled and then two more each for dessert. Needless to say, after a plate of pasta and two cookies, we're both plenty full.

Salty Oats

1 1/4 cups ap flour
1/2 cup rice flour (white or brown)
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup large raisins
Salt, for sprinkling (kosher)

Preheat oven to 375F. Line three large baking sheets with parchment paper.

In a medium bowl, whisk together rice flour and all purpose flour. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter for 30-60 seconds to soften. Add brown and white sugars, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Cream until mixture is very well blended. Add in eggs, one at a time, followed by vanilla extract.
With the mixer on low speed, beat in flour mixture. Stir in oats and raisins.

Drop dough, measuring with 1/4 cup dry measure, on to prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with salt, giving each cookie a light, but even, coating.
Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the edges are golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before storing.

Yield: 15 large cookies

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