Spaghetti Carbonara is one of my all time favourite dishes - so why have I never made it from scratch before? I genuinely don't know the answer to this question, and now, having righted that particular wrong, I am even more confused, because - It Is So Flippin' Easy! Consider me well and truly re-educated (and cue us now eating this at least once a week - uh oh - can open, worms everywhere!)
Having read a couple of different recipes for carbonara, and digesting the basic principle behind making the egg based sauce, this is my version of the classic, and it's pretty much authentic, save for the addition of mushrooms, which I adore, but could easily be omitted to save face in front of any discerning Italians.
Ingredients (serves two hungry people)
200g dried spaghetti
50g unsalted butter
8 rashers unsmoked streaky bacon or pancetta, diced
2 cloves garlic, peeled and whole
100-150g closed cup mushrooms
50ml double cream
80g parmesan cheese, finely grated
3 large eggs
freshly ground black pepper
- Put the spaghetti on to cook in boiling water as per the packet instructions, you want the pasta to be slightly firm when adding to the bacon later as it will continue to cook in the sauce, so keep checking it throughout
- Heat a large frying pan, then add the butter
- Once the butter has melted add the diced bacon. Press each of the garlic cloves under the side of knife to crush them slightly to allow the flavours to escape, but keeping them whole. Add the two cloves of garlic to the bacon.
- Cook the bacon and garlic for about 5 minutes until crisp, then remove and discard the garlic cloves, as they will have flavoured the bacon and butter mixture well by now
- Chop the mushrooms roughly the same size as the bacon pieces and add to the pan, cook for a further minute
- Using a pair of tongs, lift the cooked spaghetti from the water and add to the pan with the bacon. It doesn't matter if some of the water transfers over at the same time, and SAVE the rest of the pasta water as you will need it later
- Toss the spaghetti in the bacon mixture to coat well
- In a large jug, whisk together the cream, parmesan (saving a little to one side for serving) and eggs until well combined
- Take the pan off the heat. Pour the egg mixture over the spaghetti, and toss continually with the tongs. It is important to keep the spaghetti moving, and for the pan not to be over the heat at this point, so that the eggs don't scramble. The heat of the pasta will be enough to cook them properly
- Once the spaghetti is coated in the egg mixture, add a little of the pasta water to loosen the sauce. You are aiming for the sauce to be glossy, without being wet, so add a little at a time until you reach the required consistency
- Season with the black pepper to taste
- Serve in deep dishes with the remainder of the parmesan sprinkled over, and a little more black pepper
As this recipe has a healthy portion of garlic in, I am linking up to this month's Pasta Please challenge, run by Tinned Tomatoes and hosted this month by The Spicy Pear, where the theme is garlic.
I'm also linking into Cheese Please! hosted by Fromage Homage, as there is a huge chunk of parmesan in this sauce. This month's theme is Comfort Food and Winter Warmers, and for me, this is the ultimate comfort food (see above comment about favourite food) and I most definitely ate it piled high, and from the comfort of under my slanket!
Finally, because I haven't for a while, I am linking in to Made with Love Mondays, as this dish was made totally from scratch (and coincidentally also on a Monday). Hosted by Javelin Warrior.