In Italy, the best and most memorable meals are often the simplest. When we were in Rome I had a Spaghetti Carbonara that I am still dreaming about….soooo delicious! The dish is traditionally made with pork jowls and without cream, but for ease of execution as well as availability of ingredients, we’ve added a touch of cream and substituted pancetta lardons in place of the traditional Guanciale. This recipe is super easy – just remember to have ALL the ingredients at room temperature (eggs, cream, cheese) before starting, and to be sure that the pasta is hot when the egg mixture is tossed in. Oh, and unlike our North American traditions which offer over-sized portions of starchy carbs, pasta is often a starter course in Italy, so forget the guilt and indulge in a smaller serving before your main course. Buon Appetito!
- 450 g good quality spaghetti
- 250 g high quality pancetta or bacon cut into cubes
- 1/2 cup shredded parmesan plus more to serve
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Cook the pasta as per instructions in boiling salted water until just al dente. Drain into colander retaining 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat a frying pan to medium-high and fry the pancetta until it’s crisp and golden, about 5-7 minutes.
Next, whisk the eggs and cream in a bowl and season generously with black pepper. Whisk in the cheese.
When the pasta is cooked and drained, add it and the retained cooking water into the pan with the pancetta. Toss to coat the pasta. Immediately add the egg mixture and toss thoroughly so that everything gets a good coating – the liquid egg will cook briefly as it comes into contact with the hot pasta.
Serve the pasta on warmed deep plates with extra cheese for topping.