Yep, it's fattening!
Carbonara comes from the Italian word, “carbone,” which means coal. But there’s a mystery behind carbonara. Some think it was named for coal miners who loved the dish. Others say it was originally made over a charcoal fire, while some say it’s named because of the specks of pepper throughout. Whatever the explanation, just count on loosening your belt.
The core ingredients for traditional carbonara are pancetta, a mixture of cheeses, eggs, and freshly cracked black pepper. We Americans add cream to our carbonara, making it much more rich than the Italian version. There are tons of versions of this recipe. So here’s mine. It’s not exactly the traditional version, as it has no egg, but it’s good and certainly fattening.
I first learned this recipe while working at a small restaurant in Garden Valley, Idaho, called Danskin Station. People traveled 50 miles from Boise to experience the scenic drive and have a nice dinner. From soft-shelled crab sandwiches to Rib-eye steaks on a mesquite grill, it had some great food you certainly couldn’t find at the dive restaurants in the area. I started working there at 15-years-old as a dishwasher and finished until I graduated high school as a cook. The people were fun, and the food was great. What more could you want?
4 strips bacon, cut in pieces.
About 4 oz. angel hair pasta (1/3 of a 12oz box)
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tbs. pepper
2/3 c. (heaping) shredded parmesan
1 1/2c. cream
- Cook pasta according to directions and strain.
- cut 4 strips bacon into pieces and cook until crispy. Remove from heat and reserve the bacon drippings in the pan. Use slotted spoon to remove bacon and set in a paper towel lined bowl. Set aside.
- Cut two chicken breasts into medium-width strips, then cut cross-wise, into thin chunks. On medium heat, add chicken breast to pan and sprinkle with black pepper. Cook until no longer pink.
- Turn up the heat to medium-high. Quickly pour cream into pan with chicken breast. Add the bacon and sprinkle with parmesan. And add the pasta.
- Toss together in the pan, until combined and the cream has thickened.
- Serve as an entrée for two, or as a side. I could eat the whole thing in two different sittings. Is that bad?