Asian Carbonara Pasta

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The Pasta Man is a young lawyer from Washington, DC. He cooks a lot of pasta and other things, too. He blogs at www.thepastamanblog.com.

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Sometimes, your inspiration comes from a great food mind like Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, Kenji Lopez-Alt, or Julia Child. And sometimes your inspiration comes from an anonymous commenter at the bottom of a recipe on the internet. That happens to be the situation here, as in my endless quest for the perfect carbonara, I came across this somewhat zany, completely delicious variation from a person named “aburitoro” in the comments section of a Serious Eats carbonara recipe. I mean, aburitoro does sound like someone who knows what’s what, and carbonara with an Asian flare? What could go wrong?

As it turns out, this was really tasty! Soy sauce amped up the umami quotient in the sauce, and scallions and nori cut the richness of the dish in all the right ways. Definitely recommended!

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Asian Carbonara Pasta

Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound dried spaghetti
  • ¼ cup diced bacon or pancetta
  • 1-2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 whole egg plus 3 egg yolks
  • 1 chunk parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. black peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 3 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
  • 4 scallions, sliced
  • 1 piece of nori (dried sushi seaweed), ripped into pieces

Instructions

  1. Cook pasta until al dente in heavily salted water. Remove the pasta without draining the pasta water.
  2. Add bacon to pan with oil over medium heat and cook until crisp. Turn off heat.
  3. Blend garlic in the Magic Bullet and place in a large metal or glass bowl. Blend the parmesan and add to the bowl. Blend the black pepper corns and add to the bowl.
  4. Add the eggs, egg yolks, garlic, parmesan, soy sauce and black pepper back to the Bullet and pulse a few times.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the pan with the bacon and stir everything together. Add the egg mixture and 1/2 cup pasta water to the pan and stir. Separately, bring the leftover pasta water back to a boil.
  6. Dump everything in the pan back into the bowl and place the bowl over the boiling water to create a double boiler. Let the pasta cook from the heat of the steam until you have a creamy sauce.
  7. Serve immediately, topped with scallions and nori.

Enjoy!

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