Just because it isn’t really bacon doesn’t mean you can’t use it in similar ways.
As someone that’s not really a bacon person, I’ve never made pasta carbonara before. However, I love the idea of a “breakfast for dinner pasta” given that it’s full of bacon and eggs.
I decided to use smoked hog ham in this. While not as fatty as its domestic counterpart, the cured/smoked flavor of a smoked hog ham serves a similar purpose as bacon or prosciutto. Chop it up and fry it like lardons, or thinly slice it and it’s a great stand-in for prosciutto.
El Gallo loved this so much we made it the next day and he ate at least half of it in one sitting. Yes, he is one of those people that can eat a half pound of pasta in one sitting and never get fat. We hate him for it a little bit but try to be kind to him anyway. So for normal people that eat normal portions, this would easily feed four with a large salad.
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 1/2 cups smoked hog ham diced
- 3 T olive oil plus more if needed
- 2 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 2 oz parmesan or romano, or a blend of the two grated
Heat a large pot of salted water over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente, about 6-8 minutes, or according to package instructions. Remove about 1 1/2 cups of pasta water to set aside to cool about 5-10 minutes for later use. Drain the pasta.
Whisk the eggs and yolks until well mixed. Add some salt and pepper. Then add the grated cheese and continue to whisk until well combined. Once the pasta water has cooled slightly, continue whisking the egg mixture and slowly pour in about 1 cup of the water. If your sauce is pretty thick, continue until you have a slightly watery sauce.
In a dutch oven, fry the smoked hog with the olive oil over medium-high heat until it starts to get brown and crispy. Then, remove it from the pan. There should be about 3 tablespoons of oil left in the pan. If not, add more oil and remove the dutch oven from the heat. Add the pasta and toss to coat. While continuing to toss the pasta, slowly add the egg and cheese mixture until a nice loose sauce has formed. Add the hog pieces back in and toss to combine. Serve with a little more grated cheese for garnish.