Recipes by Nancy Johnson
Wine Commentary by Gary Twining

Eggs are one of the most versatile foods in any cook’s repertoire.  In fact, eggs have long been regarded as the indicator of culinary prowess — the one hundred pleats in a professional chef’s white hat are said to represent the number of ways in which the chef can cook an egg.  Nutrient-dense, white or brown, eggs are rich in protein, iron, vitamin A and more. A recent USDA analysis revealed eggs contain less cholesterol and more vitamin D than a decade ago. With just 70 calories, one large egg costs about 17 cents, making the egg an eggcellent and eggonomical choice for brunch, lunch and dinner.

GaryFor many years the sage advice was to avoid egg dishes with fine wines as paring with the “incredible, edible egg” tended to make the wines taste lackluster.  There are certainly wine choices that will enhance the flavor of these entrées; they will have little oak and fresh, firmly acid flavors, regardless if they are white, rose or red.  With the abundant number of bottlings from world-wide origins, there is no reason to avoid pairing wine with this menu.

Spaghetti Carbonara

This is the Italian version of eggs and bacon, a delicious quick-to-make dinner.  For a healthier version, use turkey bacon and milk instead of cream.

1 lb. spaghetti
1 lb. center-cut bacon
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
½ cup heavy cream
Salt and pepper, to tasteParsley, minced

Cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain, leaving about ¼ cup of pasta water with spaghetti.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, sauté bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels and cut into bit size pieces with kitchen shears.

Pour off all but 2 TBS of bacon grease. Saute garlic in bacon grease over medium heat until soft and golden. Watch carefully as garlic can burn quickly.
Put pasta back in pot, add garlic with bacon grease. Toss with tongs.

In small bowl, mix three eggs with heavy cream.

Over low heat, toss pasta with egg mixture until eggs cook. The eggs will scramble and cling to the pasta. Add Parmigiana Reggiano and toss again. Salt and pepper to taste.

Pour pasta onto large platter. Top with bacon and garnish with parsley.  Serves 6.

Gary – the bacon adds lots of flavor, as does the garlic.  You can go to one of the richer whites, or, what I suggest is to go straight to a fine red with firm acidity and light oak treatment.  Gamay, Barbera, Chinon and Pinot Noir in lighter styles should be marvelous pairings with this entrées.  Other options would be Rioja, Garnacha/Grenache and Cotes du Rhone rouge.

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