I only learned the secret to the perfect carbonara very recently.
It turns out that the eggs can make or break any carbonara sauce. There are two main things that you need to think about:
- You got to keep it fresh. The freshness of the eggs makes a big difference; if it’s too old the white will be too thin and wont cling to the pasta properly (I waffle on about how to know if an egg is fresh here).
- Second is timing. The timing of adding the eggs to the sauce is the key to the velvety smooth sauce that melts in your mouth.
Bare those two cracking tips in mind and your sauce will be eggs-cellent every time.
This recipe is a thrifty alternative, subbing the expensive pancetta and pecorino cheese for bacon and parmesan, still tastes great and saves a bit of money to go towards a bottle of wine to go with, lovely job!
- A few rashers of fatty bacon, thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- Salt and pepper to taste
- A fistful of spaghetti. I used a pack of dried fancy coloured stuff my dad brought back from holiday in Italy (because ‘colourful carbonara’ sounds good doesn’t it?)but plain old spaghetti works just as well.
- 2 fresh eggs
- A good grating of Parmesan cheese
- First off get the bacon on the go, pop it into a small pan and fry on high to sweat out all the fat.
- While the bacon starts to cook you can pop the pasta on. Salt the water and add a drop of olive oil to stop it sticking.
- Once the pasta is on you can add the garlic, salt and pepper to the bacon. Giving it a good stir. At this point I normally pinch a bit (making sure it’s cooked) to taste to see if it is seasoned enough. You can then turn it down to a low heat while the pasta cooks.
- Once the pasta is cooked, give it a good strain and if it’s still a little sticky you can pour over a little boiling water to wash away the starch.
- Add the pasta back to the pan it was cooked in and pour over the bacon.
- It’s time for the eggs, make sure the pan has been taken off the heat but is still warm, crack the eggs in gently and give the whole thing a jolly good stir. If the pan is too hot the egg can begin to cook before it is properly stirred in and you’ll get a lumpy sauce.
- Grate over the desired amount of parmesan and give it another jolly good stir.
- Add an extra bit of cheese to the top is desired and grate over a little extra pepper. This dish goes great with a nice glass of dry white wine, it goes even better with two.