Spaghetti Carbonara

Serves 2 People

Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic quick Italian dish - Bacon & Eggs with pasta. This is a purist version of the recipe. Some people use garlic and/or onions (which I don't find goes well with eggs); some people use white wine (in which case you are making something else entirely). 

With this recipe, timing is everything. Ensure that you have no distractions until you are comfortable with cooking the dish. Timings will vary depending on your stove, your pots & pans, and the quantity that you cook.

  1. Start heating water for the pasta.
  2. Chop some smoked bacon (the equivalent of about 2 thick rashers is enough, but how much you use depends on how much you like bacon) into very small pieces. Put into a large pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil or butter.
  3. Break 2 eggs (1 egg is actually enough for 2 people, but I like eggs) into a bowl, and whisk in about 1 cup of cream.
  4. Cut up about 50g of mild/medium blue cheese into small chunks. Properly, this should be Duetto (a combination of Gorgonzola & Marscaponi), but you can use any of the many varieties of "Blue Brie".
  5. When the water is boiling, add enough pasta (spaghetti, or whatever you prefer) for 2 people (depends on your appetite), noting the time you add it. When it returns to the boil, stir it, and turn the heat down a little. Some people add about 1 teaspoon of oil to the water to stop the pasta sticking.
  6. While the pasta is cooking, fry the bacon on a medium heat. You will need to stir it a lot to stop it sticking. It should get a little burnt (hence the "carbonara") - how long this takes depends on the pan, how much heat, how much you stir, etc. You should try to have the frying finished when you have drained the spaghetti.
  7. 2 minutes before the pasta is cooked, take it off the heat & drain it.
  8. Add the pasta to the pan containing the bacon (which should still be frying), and stir vigorously to stop it sticking. Add the cheese. Fry together for exactly 1 minute, breaking up any lumps of cheese that don't melt. Then turn off the heat. If you are using a stove which holds heat a long time, you will probably need to remove the pan from the hot-plate.
  9. Add the cream & egg mixture. Keep stirring. The eggs will cook in the heat already in the pan. If you keep heating it, you will curdle the sauce. Add extra cream to keep the consistency of the sauce how you want it (I like mine fairly runny). About 1 minute after adding the eggs & cream, the meal is ready to serve.