Pasta carbonara is a creamy egg-based pasta dish. When I first tried it, I was convinced it had a cream-based sauce. However, the eggs along with the oil reserved from the bacon really make for a smooth, velvety sauce. I ended up adding a splash of cream to this dish right before serving, but it’s not necessary. You could also use a small amount of pasta water for extra creaminess instead.
This is quite a cheap recipe that costs about $1 a serving. I would recommend splurging and using high quality bacon, since it’s really the highlight of the dish. I’ve also seen recipes calling for pancetta, but I have never tried this. Pancetta is a more expensive option, so I will stick with bacon in all its greasy goodness!
Pasta Carbonara Recipe
Yield: 4 servings
Timing is important in this recipe. Make sure that the pasta is hot when you add the egg mixture to it. The heat from the pasta will safely cook the eggs, but the bacon grease will prevent them from scrambling.
1 pound uncooked spaghetti
1/2 pound bacon
4 cloves garlic, chopped
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese, for topping
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook to al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Once done cooking, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water for optional use later.
Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, cook bacon until crisp, adding garlic about half way through. Remove bacon and place on a paper towel to cool, then crumble. Reserve the bacon grease in the frying pan.
Beat eggs. Add drained pasta and peas to bacon oil. Cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, tossing pasta to ensure even heating and coating. Remove pan from heat and add beaten eggs to the pasta. Stir pasta to distribute egg mixture evenly and avoid scrambling. Add a bit of reserved pasta water or a splash of cream, if desired. Top pasta with parmesan cheese and serve.
Recipe adapted from Food Network