I’ve tried for ages to get a good carbonara recipe that I can knock up at home. Genarro Contaldo’s recipe is a brilliant place to go, although I find using yolks only too thick (although I’m just probably not a good enough cook!) Antonio Carluccio also has a good recipe online, but he uses traditional meat which is harder for us all to come by, so the below uses everyday ingredients.
This recipe is really simple, but to stop things from curdling, the method, while straightforward, is important.
For two people, I go for the below ingredients to produce a really creamy, rich carbonara.
- Two eggs and one egg yolk
- 50g grated parmesan (plus extra to serve)
- 100g pancetta cubes (roughly)
- 250g fresh spaghetti
On a medium heat, get your pancetta on in a frying pan. I put the pancetta in straight away with no oil, enough fat comes out as the heat builds, so don’t add to it, you’ll only end up taking it out.
- Next, stick pan of salted boiling water on, and add your fresh spaghetti – this won’t need long.
- In a bowl, mix the parmesan, eggs and a generous crack of pepper until all combined into a gloopy, cheesey mixture.
- When your pancetta is browned, reduce to a really low heat. Once the spaghetti is cooked, add to the pancetta, allowing a some pasta water to carry over. Note: do not throw the pasta water away, leave the saucepan on the turned off ring/hob that you cooked the spaghetti in.
- Combine the pancetta and spaghetti, and now carefully place the frying pan on top of the saucepan. From here, add the sauce, and stir around. What will happen is that the residual heat from the pan and water will cook through the egg but won’t be hot enough to scramble it. You’ll also find that having egg white involved means the sauce is loose enough to cook through quickly.
- Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan and another crack of black pepper