I absolutely love spaghetti carbonara. It is definitely rich and comforting; something that is perfect for a cool evening. I usually have the ingredients on hand and can throw it together in a short amount of time, yet it feels really special and even luxurious. The whole family (even the toddler) goes crazy for this one. I’ve used many different recipes over the years and settled on my own version, which I’ve shared below.
- 6 ounces of bacon or pancetta, cut into small pieces
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- about 2 ounces finely shredded parmesan cheese, plus more for topping (I use a microplane to get it really fine). You may prefer less or more. I usually just add enough to get the mixture the right texture (see below)*.
- 2 eggs plus 2 egg yolks (Please use good and fresh eggs here.)
- olive oil, salt, and pepper
- 12-14oz spaghetti (350-400g) (I’ve used spiral noodles and even gluten free pasta with success)
- Boil the spaghetti according to the package, but subtract 1 minute from the recommended cooking time. While that’s cooking:
- Whisk your eggs & yolks well, adding a good bit of black pepper and the parmesan. *You want the parmesan to thicken it up, but you don’t want it to be too dry, so you may want to add it a bit at a time until it forms a paste. That’s why I prefer to use a microplane- I just can’t seem to get the smooth texture without superfine shreds. It should look like this:
- Sauté the bacon in a bit of olive oil until it starts to get crispy, add the garlic and remove from the heat if your pasta isn’t ready (if so, you’ll have to bring it up to temperature again later).
- When the pasta is ready, drain it but reserve a bit of the cooking water in case you need it later. Add the pasta directly to the warm bacon and garlic mix and stir well for about a minute until everything is warm, adding a splash or two of the pasta water.
- Remove from heat and stir in the egg mix. Mix well. If everything goes well, your eggs mix will warm and thicken to a nice custardy sauce. Add a splash more pasta water if it looks dry and keep stirring! You don’t want scrambled eggs (although one time mine did turn into scrambled eggs and it was still edible).
- Serve immediately with a fresh grating of parmesan and a pinch of black pepper on top.