I apologize for the mixed metaphor in the title, but that's what this is: a traditional spaghetti carbonara, but it's baked like a kugel. What could be bad? You know we love both carbonara and kugel, so this was a big hit here. And easy-peasy.
This comes from Faith Durand's new book, Not Your Mother's Casseroles, which I had the pleasure of proofreading last spring. This is part of the "Not Your Mother's" series from Harvard Common Press (including Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook and Not Your Mother's Microwave Cookbook), which features new takes on old techniques or equipment. In this case, it's casseroles. Forget about the can of cream-of-whatever soup—we're talking fresh, healthful ingredients here.
Baked Spaghetti Carbonara
1 pound spaghetti
8 slices bacon, cut into 2-inch lengths
4 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup white wine
6 large eggs
1½ cups milk
2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 400°. Lightly grease a 9x13x2" baking pan with olive oil. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat, and salt the water generously. Cook the spaghetti for about 2 minutes less than recommended by the package directions for al dente. Drain and return to the cooking pot, then toss with a generous amount of olive oil.
2. Place the bacon pieces in a large, deep skillet and turn the heat to medium. Cook the bacon slowly until it is crispy, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook over medium heat for an additional 4 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant and golden.
3. Turn the heat to medium-high and add the white wine. Bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes, or until the wine is slightly reduced. Turn off the heat and set aside.
4. In a large bowl, beat the eggs thoroughly and whisk in the milk and Parmesan cheese. Stir in the salt, nutmeg, and a generous quantity of black pepper. Add the spaghetti and toss thoroughly. Pour in the bacon mixture and toss again.
5. Spread the pasta mixture in the prepared baking dish. (At this point the casserole may be covered and refrigerated for up to 24 hours.) Bake for 30 minutes, or until set. Let cool for 5 minutes before cutting into squares and serving.