Growing up, I was spoiled rotten by my mom’s cooking. She made us amazing meals, from scratch, almost nightly. The food was so good that my brother and I would battle over leftovers, going so far as to sneak into the kitchen late at night to snag the last fajita or a serving of Moroccan chicken.
Carbonara was a lazy-night meal for my mom, and as I’ve spent the last years living on my own and then cooking for others, it’s become the same for me. Carbonara is fast and easy to prepare, but yields fabulous results every time. All you need is a little bit of pork, a few eggs, and cheese. There are fancy ways to make carbonara, but it’s just as good when you keep it simple. When I got some tasso – a Cajun cured ham – from Teet’s, it was a Thursday night and as much as I wanted to experiment, I really just wanted to get dinner on the table. So carbonara was an easy choice, especially when I thought of adding some Slap Ya Mama seasoning to the mix to complement the ham.
The sauce in carbonara results from scrambled eggs heating just enough to thicken. So pull your eggs out of the fridge to take off the chill before you do anything else. If they’re cold, they’ll take longer to thicken, and you might be tempted to turn the stove back on – not a good idea, as it will almost always end in scrambled eggs, not creamy sauce. (That has happened to me on more than one occasion. I eat it anyway – it’s delicious).
Teet’s Tasso Carbonara, as seen on 37 Cooks
- 1/2 pound pasta, such as linguine or fettucine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 ounces Teet’s tasso, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tablespoon Slap ya Mama seasoning, or other Cajun seasoning
- Fresh salt and pepper to taste
Before you get started, do a little prep work: in a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, cheese, and Slap ya Mama seasoning. Set aside.
Set a large pot of water over high heat to boil. When it comes to a rolling boil, add pasta and cook until almost done.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan over medium. Add tasso and saute until slightly crispy and fat has begun to render. Add garlic and turn the heat down to low.
Drain the pasta and add it to the pan with tasso and garlic. Toss for a moment so the flavors mingle, then take the pan off the heat. Whisking quickly, add the egg mixture to the pasta. Toss and stir constantly until the eggs have thickened into a creamy sauce. (If the eggs scramble instead, exhale and eat it anyway – it will be tasty, and you can try again some other time).
Garnish with black pepper and a little more cheese, then serve and enjoy.