Italian is such charming language. All the words sound melodic, even the most benign ones kind of sing. Like the word Carbonara, which basically means something like charcoal burner. It also happens to be one of my favorite pasta dishes. A simple fare: just pasta, eggs, cheese and bacon, although our Italian friend Luigi thinks it’s "tow hevy". My point is that we Germans actually have a version of Carbonara too, but I am sad to say that we call it noodles with ham. That’s the basic difference between romance and germanic languages.
The German take on Carbonara is a hearty, rustic dish. I like it especially when I stop at a cozy mountain hut on a hiking or skiing trip because it reminds me of winter holiday during high school. My girlfriends and I rode a train, then a bus and finally we had to hike 1/2 hour with our heavy boots and unmanageable skies and poles just to get to the lift. That was hard work! After some fast runs and a few tumbles and when we were sufficiently cold and wet, we were starving. Everything tastes good after being outside for a long time, but especially a big plate of carbs with deliciously salty ham, creamy eggs and gooey cheese.
When I make the noodles now, it’s usually a last minute dinner, more like an afterthought. I lightly brown sweet-smokey Black Forest ham in butter. Then I add cooked wide egg noodles and sauté them until I have a few brown and crisp spots here and there. I throw in a handful of cheese and stir in a couple of well-beaten eggs. I give the hot pan a little swirl so the eggs have time to stick to the noodles and the cheese has melted. A deft sprinkle of chives adds a little sparkle.
I like Carbonara in any language.
Carbonara German style
4 oz of Black Forest ham, diced or cut into wide strips
1 tbs butter
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 - 1/2 cup of cheese (anything goes: white Cheddar, Swiss, Monterey Jack) grated
1 tbs chopped chives, parsley will do