We found ourselves early this afternoon with hungry tummies, no plans for lunch and a larder empty of everything but a few simple staples. Fortunately, we had enough to whip up a simple spaghetti carbonara.
In the past I’ve often cheated slightly and thrown together half a pot of mascarpone cheese with 75g of pancetta (per person); but a couple of weeks back we went along to both the Northampton Food Festival and Bell of Northampton where we saw Carmela Sereno Hayes demo a few dishes including a traditional Italian carbonara.
Since we had some spaghetti and parmesan in the larder and eggs and pancetta in the fridge, I thought I would see what I could remember from her demo and give a traditional carbonara a go. We didn’t have any mascarpone anyway!
There is no need for cream, the eggs and cheese give a plenty rich enough sauce. If we’d had parsley in the house we would have included it, but it’s not necessary. I have also seen pecorino cheese used alongside parmesan in a 50-50 mix.
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 15 minutes
Ingredients: (served 2 and a 14 month old boy)
250g spaghetti, splash of olive oil, 1 garlic clove finely chopped, 150g pancetta, a handful of chopped parsley if you like it
For the sauce:
50g Parmesan grated plus extra to serve, 1 large egg plus 2 egg yolks, salt and pepper, handful chopped parsley if you like it
Add a teaspoon of salt to a large saucepan of boiling water. Throw in the spaghetti and cook according to the packet instructions. My wife likes to snap the spaghetti in half before she adds it to make it easier to manage.
Add your oil to a pan and fry the pancetta with the chopped garlic.
In a bowl add the parmesan and eggs and mix well. Season with salt and pepper. Add the parsley.
When the spaghetti’s cooked, using kitchen tongs, remove it from your saucepan to the bacon and garlic.
Add your egg mix and stir well. The heat from the bacon, garlic and spaghetti will ensure the eggs are cooked.
Serve in large bowls and top with more grated parmesan.