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Dinner Rush! “Date Night” Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

A short while ago my friend Joe called me with a seemingly simple request: he wanted to surprise his girlfriend by making dinner for her. Being that they’re two of my besties, that his culinary abilities are self-admittedly so-so and that she’s a phenomenal cook herself, the guy needed a simple meal with a big “wow” factor.

Enter carbonara! Sure, it takes a little bit of coordination to pull off, but it’s made with only a handful of ingredients that were likely already in their refrigerator and pantry. Plus, it’s one of her favorites. No pressure.

The secret to carbonara is timing and heat – the latter of which you need very little. To be successful, have all your ingredients ready at the same time that the pasta is ready. Once you drain it, toss everything together off the heat (emphasis on off the heat) and the hot pasta will provide just enough warmth to cook the eggs through and make a beautiful silky sauce. It’s when you try to mix everything together over the heat that you end up with scrambled egg spaghetti – a sure-fire date-night ruiner.

So how, you may be wondering, did Joe’s version turn out? He and Charissa are getting married this August. Nailed it.

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Date Night, in Your Kitchen

Extra Virgin on Cooking Channel

It is nice to get out of your house and have an intimate date at a cozy restaurant. Your palate deserves something special, every now and then. Dinner and a movie (or a concert!) with my wife—yeah that’s the kind of date I like. Usually there is room for negotiations: “You want to watch a chick flick? Then we’re having steak for dinner!” Or … “You want to try a new vegetarian restaurant? Ok, but then we see a movie where at least two dozens of cars explode!”

But now with kids, and no nearby family to watch them, when Debi and I go out, it is usually for a spontaneous lunch date, when our children are in school. We make time for ourselves when we can, and considering we don’t have a 9 to 5 kind of job, the middle of the day works really well for us. The evening though, the evening is tough!

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