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Spaghetti a la Car-beer-nara

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This is a simple dish, but it is crucial you pay attention to the techniques, timing and sequences, and have your ingredients at your fingertips before you start cooking. Traditional carbonara doesn’t call for vegetables, but pork (typically guanciale or pancetta) is essential.

Makes: 4 to 6

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 34 cup leftover ham, diced in 1⁄4-inch pieces
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh Italian
  • (flat-leaf) parsley leaves
  • 1 14 cups freshly grated pecorino Romano,
  • plus more for serving
  • 1 14 tablespoons minced fresh garlic
  • 1 cup kölsch
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 34 cup leftover green vegetables (spinach,
  • asparagus, peas, green beans, etc.) cut into 1⁄2 inch pieces
  • salt and fresh-ground black pepper


1. In a large pot over high heat, bring salted water to a boil.

2. Into a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, pour 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the ham and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 3-5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, whisk the eggs, parsley, cheese and a generous amount of pepper until well combined.

3. Add the garlic to the ham and cook until fragrant, less than a minute. Pour in the beer, bring to a boil until reduced by half, about 4-6 minutes.

4. While the beer reduces, place the spaghetti in the boiling water, but do not break the pasta strands. Stir gently, allowing the pasta to soften and fall completely into the water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente.

5. Carefully pour the reduced beer into a mea- suring cup, leaving the ham in the pan. You should have 1⁄2 cup of beer. If you reduced the beer too much and don’t have a half cup, add just enough pasta water until you do.

6. Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and the vegetables to the ham and heat through.

7. While whisking the egg mixture constantly, add the hot beer in a slow steady stream, taking care not to scramble the eggs.

8. When the spaghetti is al dente, drain the pasta, reserving a 1⁄4 cup of the cooking water. Immediately add the spaghetti to the hot sauté pan and toss with the ham and vegetables until well combined.

9. Add the hot spaghetti mixture to the warmed egg mixture, stirring and tossing vigorously until the sauce thickens, being careful not to scramble the eggs. If the sauce is too dry or pasty, stir in the reserved pasta water one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency. The sauce should be thick, shiny and creamy, clinging to the spaghetti.

10. Taste and season the pasta with salt and pep- per as needed. Serve with extra pecorino on the side.



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