Mami’s Carbonara Sauce

February 13, 2006

fetuccini carbonara

After spending a day making truffles from morning until mid-afternoon, waiting for each step of the process to be finished, I threw together this dish of Fettucini Carbonara without a recipe and with amazing results. I think the secret hides in the amazing noodles, which I bought at Maki, the import store north of Hyakumanben, instead of a regular super market, and in the balance of cream (and milk) and bacon. The outcome was a smooth sauce with enough flavor, but not overwhelmingly creamy or fatty, which was the last thing I needed after taste testing truffles all day.

When I was a kid (yes, we’re going back there again), this was my favorite dinner. I would slurp up so much of it, I usually got sick to my stomach afterwards. I loved it that much. But somehow I don’t remember having it at home ever since around late elementary school. In any case, here in the cold Kyoto winter, I’ve been thinking of making something like this dish to remind me of way back, when I was carefree and my mother (who I called Mami in German) and father fed me.

So, I researched recipes, but somehow every single one had loads of parmesan, which A) is incredibly expensive to get here in Japan, and B) I don’t remember tasting in my mother’s version of the sauce. Which is why I made my sauce up, taking down the measurements as I went. Just as the sauce had warmed up again after adding the final ingredient, the egg, I slipped my spoon into the pan, brought it to my lips, and felt transported. It was exactly the flavor I remembered. Amazing how sometimes, just sometimes, you get your mother’s dish right.

Fettucini Carbonara
(makes 2 servings)

fettucini noodles

three slices bacon

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup cream or half & half

1 egg

salt and pepper

finely chopped green onions

Boil the fettucini. In the meantime, chop the bacon into little pieces and toss them into the fry pan over low heat. Let the bacon get dark and crispy. When the bacon is done, put it on paper towels and pour the excess fat out of the pan.

Turn off the burner under the pan, and put the bacon back in it. Add the milk and cream. Scramble the eggs, and add them to the pan as well. Add a good amount of salt and pepper… don’t be shy. Turn on the burner to very low, and begin stirring the sauce continuously. Stir and stir and stir. You don’t want the egg to scramble. Just as the sauce begins to thicken, turn off the heat. Adjust the flavor with salt and pepper.

Drain the fettucini, place in plates, and pour the sauce over it. Garnish with the green onions.

Bon Appetit!

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One Response to “Mami’s Carbonara Sauce”

  1. sha Says:

    When I was a kid (yes, we’re going back there again

    Food is so evocative it just take you back to happy memories.
    En gutte


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