Difficulty: Easy - for beginners
Serves: to 6
Carbonara is defined in no small part by the peppery, sheepâ€™s milk bite of Pecorino Romano, so donâ€™t settle for preshredded cheese. Buy a 3-ounce wedge of Pecorino from the deli department and grate it yourself.
8 slices bacon , chopped fine
2 slices hearty white sandwich bread , torn into pieces
1 1/4 cups grated Pecorino Romano (see note)
Salt and pepper
2 large eggs
1 cup evaporated milk
5 1/4 cups water
3 garlic cloves , minced
1 cup white wine
1 pound penne pasta
1. FRY BACON Cook bacon in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer bacon to paper towel-lined plate. Pour off fat from pan, reserving 3 tablespoons.
2. PREPARE TOPPING Pulse bread, ¼ cup cheese, ½ teaspoon pepper, one-quarter of crisp bacon, and 2 tablespoons reserved bacon fat in food processor until coarsely ground. Whisk eggs, milk, remaining cheese, and ¾ cup water in medium bowl.
3. SIMMER PASTA Heat remaining bacon fat in empty skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add garlic and 1 teaspoon pepper and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Stir in wine and cook until reduced to ¼ cup, about 3 minutes. Stir in remaining water, penne, and ¾ teaspoon salt and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer covered, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed and pasta is al dente, 15 to 20 minutes. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat broiler.
4. ADD SAUCE Off heat, add egg mixture and remaining crisp bacon to pan and toss to combine. Top with bread-crumb mixture and broil until golden brown, about 2 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Serve.