Spaghetti Carbonara

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adapted from Ruth Reichl’s A Fiestiary

1 pound spaghetti
½ lb thick-cut bacon
4 garlic cloves, peeled
2 large eggs
Black pepper
½ cup grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for the table

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When it is boiling, throw in the spaghetti. While it’s cooking (until al dente, don’t overcook!), make the sauce.

Cut the bacon crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Put them in a skillet and cook for 2 minutes, until fat begins to render. Add the whole garlic cloves and cook  5 minutes more, until the edges of the bacon just begin to get crisp. Do not overcook; if they get too crisp they won’t meld with the pasta. While the bacon is cooking, break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, beating them with a fork. Add some grindings of pepper.

Remove the garlic cloves from the bacon pan. You’re going to toss the bacon and it’s fat with the pasta. You can drain a bit of the bacon fat if you want, if you think it looks like too much, but I’d advise against it. When the spaghetti is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.

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