Ramen Carbonara

So, Madam Badwolf has stolen my thunder. Seems she saw a video on a quick and dirty hack for ramen that turned out to be a Ramen Carbonara. After she commented to me that this would be a quick and simple meal/snack, I had to do the research and testing.

The end result is quite passable; depending on time, ingredients, and patience, this can be quite the production or a quick, simple hit. One can forgo the bacon for a vegetarian version, or one can brown off the bacon, then sautee mushrooms, peppers, and onions in the bacon fat for an expansive version of this. (All the Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube Italian chefs will now line up outside my door with pitchforks and torches for those heresies.) (Uncle Roger, you can stick to criticizing how I use ramen without MSG.)

As the egg is a significant component of the sauce, I recommend using jumbo eggs and either locally sourced or pastured eggs. The difference in the quality is marked. In a farm egg, the yolk is quite pale, with almost no hint of yellow/orange; a local source egg will have a vibrant yellow/orange yolk. The taste difference is even more marked. Yes, they cost more, but the impact on the food is quite noticeable.

From Wikipedia:

Carbonara (Italian: [karboˈnaːra]) is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with eggs, hard cheese, cured pork and black pepper. The dish arrived at its modern form, with its current name, in the middle of the 20th century.

The cheese is usually Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano-Reggiano, or a combination of the two. Spaghetti is the most common pasta, but fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine, or bucatini are also used. Normally guanciale or pancetta are used for the meat component, but lardons of smoked bacon are a common substitute outside Italy.

The pasta is cooked in moderately salted boiling water. The guanciale is briefly fried in a pan in its own fat. A mixture of raw eggs (or yolks), grated Pecorino romano and a liberal amount of ground black pepper is combined with the hot pasta either in the pasta pot or in a serving dish, but away from direct heat, to avoid curdling the egg. The fried guanciale is then added, and the mixture is tossed, creating a rich, creamy sauce with bits of meat spread throughout. Although various shapes of pasta can be used, the raw egg can only cook properly with a shape that has a sufficiently large ratio of surface area to volume, such as the long, thin types fettuccine, linguine, or spaghetti.

Guanciale is the most commonly used meat for the dish in Italy, but pancetta and pancetta affumicata are also used and, in English-speaking countries, bacon is often used as a substitute. The usual cheese is Pecorino Romano; occasionally Parmesan. Recipes differ as to how eggs are used—some use the whole egg, some others only the yolk, and still others a mixture.

Ramen Carbonara

Quick, Tasty, Filling, "Cheap"
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Total Time 10 mins
Course Lunch, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 1
Calories 211 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 Small saucepan Just the size of a ramen brick

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pkg Ramen Save the noodles, toss the packet
  • 1 slices Bacon Thick Cut, and cut to 1" strips
  • 1 ea Egg Jumbo, Pastured is best
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan  Fresh Grated, if possible
  • 1 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp Black Pepper To taste

Instructions
 

  • Add the noodles, water, and bacon to the pot, and bring to a boil over medium high heat
  • Flip the brink back and forth until all the noodles are loose
  • Turn off the heat and let the noodles rest for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. There should be a small amount of starch water in the bottom of the pot
  • In a medium bowl (the serving bowl), whisk together the egg yolk, Parmesan cheese, and a few cracks of black pepper.
  • Add the pot’s contents to the bowl with the egg yolk and cheese and stir this together thoroughly until the noodles are coated with a thick sauce.
  • Garnish with additional parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Notes

Where was this when I was younger?
Quite the ramen hack.   Quick, simple, tasty, and almost cheap.  (Eggs, good eggs command a prince’s ransom these days.)   And we will not discuss the price of a good brick of ramen.  The cheap eggs, ramen, and cheese are just that, CHEAP.  The taste and nutritional value will be similar.
Then again, nutritional value and ramen are things that don’t fit together.
On the subject of eggs, I try to use either locally sourced or pastured eggs.  The true test of the quality of an egg is the yolk; I want them the size of the sun and just as yellow.

Nutrition

Calories: 211kcalCarbohydrates: 2gProtein: 8gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 405mgPotassium: 108mgFiber: 0.3gSugar: 0.1gVitamin A: 66IUCalcium: 74mgIron: 0.4mg
Keyword Bacon, Cheese, Egg, Ramen, Sauce
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

  Filed under: Cook For One, Cultural-Misappropriation, Egg, Pasta, Pub Food, Quick, Sauce, Vegetarian

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