I love carbonara. The flavours, the texture and the speediness and simplicity of the preparation.
The entire meal can be prepared in the time it takes you to cook the pasta.
There are two versions that I go with depending on what ingredients I have to hand. The one pictured above is the slightyl more sophisticated and complex version (although still very quick and easy)
You will need:
- two egg yolks
- 100ml single cream (optional)
- big handful of finely grated parmesan
- mushrooms sliced
- pancetta (or bacon) – cut into 1/4 strips
- 2 whoel peeled garlic cloves
- olive oil
- 1/2 glass white wine
First things first, get your pasta water on the go. This is now your countdown to eating.
Next fly the mushrooms until coloured in a little olive oil then remove form the pan and set aside. Add a good glug of fresh olive oil, the two whole garlic cloves and the pancetta or bacon. Fry on medium heat until crispy then remove and discard the two garlic cloves. Now throw in the white wine and allow to bubble for a few mins then take off the heat and add your mushroms back in.
Your pasta water is probably boiling now so put your spaghetti in.
Now separate your eggs leaving just the yolks in a bowl. Add the cream and a very generous grind of pepper. Now the cheese and mix together so you have a thick paste.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it but keep back a cupful of the pasta water. Throw the pasta bakc in the pan with some of the water and pour in your egg mixture. Keep stirring until the mix starts to thicken. If it is too thick, then add a bit more pasta water.
Now mix in your pancetta and mushroom mix alog with the residual wine and stor again.
Serve with freshly ground balck pepper and some more parmesan.
Te simple version does not use the white wine or the garlic. Whilst it still tastes great, the depth of flavour is worth the extra effort.