I love pasta because it is an easy and quick meal. This recipe, in particular, packs in a lot of flavour and it is super easy to make. This is also a good one to do for a dinner party – I like to separate the egg and add the yolk into a nest-like pile of spaghetti so that it can be mixed in to make the sauce even more creamy and delicious.
I learned from the great Mario Batali that a true carbonara has no cream and could be a little tricky to make. When I tried this recipe, the only tricky part was how quickly the noodles could stick together and become one block of pasta. So with that in mind, as soon as your pasta is ready, serve and eat it immediately! Chef Batali also says to use the best quality eggs possible to make a good quality sauce. Home made pasta takes this recipe to a whole other level so I highly recommend you use your own home made noodles. Here is a recipe for Fresh Pasta. If you are short on time, use store bought.
Here’s the recipe!
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
yields: 4 servings
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces of Pancetta or good quality bacon
1 pound spaghetti
1 1/4 cups freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
4 large eggs, separated
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil in a large pot, and add 2 tablespoons of salt.
2. Meanwhile, combine the olive oil and pancetta in a 12 to 14 inch saute pan set over medium heat, and cook until the pancetta has rendered its fat and is crispy and golden. Remove from the heat and set aside (do not drain the fat).
3. Cook the spaghetti in boiling water until just al dente. If using fresh pasta, you would literally cook it for under 2 minutes. Scoop out 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water and set aside. Drain the pasta.
4. Add the reserved pasta water to the pan with the pancetta, then toss in the pasta and heat, shaking the pan, for 1 minute. Remove from the heat, add 1 cup of the parmigiano, the egg whites, and pepper to taste and toss until thoroughly mixed.
5. Divide the pasta among four warmed serving bowls. Make a nest in the centre of each one, and gently drop an egg yolk into each nest. Season the egg yolks with more pepper and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of parmigiano over the top. Serve immediately.