One of the earliest pasta dishes I have ever attempted is Spaghetti alla Carbonara. This was when I was still in law school many years ago...don't wish to reveal my age too much! :-) Back then I used some cream to make the sauce and though it's not the most authentic Italian dish I have made, my family was quite happy with it. With bacon and cream, how can you say no? :-)
However, I have discovered, nearly 10 years ago that to make a "pure" carbonara you don't use cream but eggs (though of course some debate may still remain! )...so back when it was just hubby and me and no tots yet, we have enjoyed many plates of what they call the purist's carbonara. Now, if I wish to make a pasta sauce with cream instead then I make the Alfredo sauce. However, when we fancy Carbonara this is what I make and I have never made it any other way. It is truly sumptuous!
It took me so long to post this recipe because we often end up eating it before I get the chance to take some photos and the old photos I have of this dish were way too dark and ugly so I couldn't really use them for blogging purposes. I made Spaghetti alla Carbonara again a few days ago and resolved to take some good photos this time. I am glad they came out decent enough. There is no smothering of cream on it but trust me each and every Spaghetti strand is covered with a delicious parmesan and egg sauce (and yes, there's bacon all over it, too.). Please enjoy this really yummy Spaghetti alla Carbonara - you simply can't make it any other way! If you wish to make it really authentic, use Pancetta (Italian Bacon) but if you don't have access to it you can sub with regular streaky bacon. :-)
12 oz (3/4 lb) Spaghetti
2 Tablespoons Olive oil
4-5 (or about 4 oz) strips of Pancetta,* or regular streaky Bacon, sliced into small strips/pieces
4 Garlic cloves, crushed
3 eggs (room temp or if cold, place eggs in hot water until they warm up)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish
Pancetta (Italian Bacon)
The key here is to get everything ready for mixing. Once the bacon and pasta are both cooked and ready - it's really just a matter of mixing everything together so it doesn't take too long to make it. The eggs would be cooked by the hot pasta and bacon drippings. The warmed-up bowl will help ensure that as well plus with that you can enjoy the pasta warm throughout dinner time. :-)
In the meantime, get a large oven proof bowl and warm it up in a 250F oven. Once all the ingredients are ready, get the hot bowl out of the oven using hand mittens. Break the eggs into the bowl and blend it with the parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Drain the hot pasta and quickly mix it with the egg/cheese mixture. Get the bacon and its drippings and pour it over. Mix well and adjust the seasoning ,if needed. The eggs would be cooked by the heat from the pasta and bacon (so it’s necessary to ensure that both are still hot when stirred in). Serve immediately with extra parmesan cheese to pass around! Garnish with a little chopped fresh parsley! Comfort food deliciousness!
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