Keeping to the theme of easy recipes I thought I would launch my blog with one for Spaghetti Carbonara taught to me by my chum, Tommy, from Zürich.
This recipe is for the classic carbonara which is a light dish and bears no resemblance to what is often found on restaurant menus doused in litres of cream.
The origin of the name of the dish is obscure and debates continue as to whether it was, in fact, invented by charcoalmen (Carbonari) but it seems certain that the dish was created in Rome. As to its arrival in this world the recipe appeared in Elizabeth Davis’s Italian Food published in the UK in 1954 but it did not feature in Ada Boni’s classic La Cucina Romana of 1930.
The dish is simplicity itself and requires only the following:
Ingredients for 2 people:
- 2 eggs
- 4 rashers of bacon (smoked or unsmoked as preferred) sliced into strips or use cubed pancetta if you like. If you like a bit more bacon,then add another slice per person – as you like it!
- a little olive oil
- a handful of flat-leaf parsley chopped as fine as you can get it
- 30g/1 oz Parmesan cheese grated or Grana Padano (which is less expensive than Parmesan)
- 170g/6 oz spaghetti (depending on how hungry you may be, add or subtract the amount of spaghetti)
- black pepper
- Put a large saucepan of salted water on the stove and bring to a boil. (It is important that there is plenty of water to cook your spaghetti).
- Whilst the pasta water is coming to a boil, in a mixing bowl break the eggs and whisk with a fork. Mix in the grated cheese, the parsley and a few twists of pepper to taste. NB I would not recommend that you add salt because the cheese will be seasoning enough.
- Put a little olive oil into a frying pan and fry the bacon strips until a little crispy. If you are using pancetta just pop that into the frying pan, without the oil, because it will have plenty of its own fat in which to fry. Once cooked to your liking, set aside and keep warm.
- Once the water has come to a boil add the spaghetti and give it a good stir round and allow to cook according to the instructions on the packet/taste.
- When the spaghetti is cooked drain in a colander and then return it to the saucepan making sure the heat is turned off beneath the saucepan. Pop the bacon/pancetta into the saucepan followed by the egg mixture. Stir thoroughly ensuring the spaghetti is coated. The trick is to have the egg mixture emulsify and hot through but not let it get over-cooked that it turns a little into scrambled eggs!
- Divide into two bowls and throughly enjoy along with a glass or two of wine.
Ps This can easily be made for one person simply by using one egg and dividing the ingredients accordingly.