Spaghetti carbonara is one of the most well known, yet often poorly executed, Italian dishes outside of Italy. Too often the pasta is doused in ladles of rich double cream and passed off as carbonara, when actually all that is required is eggs and Parmesan to make a lovely creamy sauce. Add some black pepper and pancetta and you have a super tasty yet easy supper.
The key here is to make sure the egg mixture is added off the heat to prevent it from curdling, and to serve it straight away. Simple, delicious and comforting, carbonara is always a winner.
Cook: 20 mins
200g of spaghetti
75g of Parmesan, or Pecorino Romano, finely grated, plus extra to serve
3 egg yolks
75g of pancetta, or guanciale, cut into lardons
1 garlic clove, minced
Cook the spaghetti in salted boiling water for 8–10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together the Parmesan and egg yolks in a small bowl and set aside.
Cook the pancetta in a large frying pan until crispy. Once cooked, reserve the pancetta and the fat that has been released during cooking separately.
Once the pasta is cooked, reserve a ladleful of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
Transfer the pasta to the pancetta frying pan and add the reserved pancetta fat and minced garlic. Gently heat the pan then remove from the heat and quickly stir through the egg yolk and Parmesan mixture. Add a little of the pasta water to emulsify the sauce.
Mix well then add the pancetta and black pepper to taste. Add a little more pasta water if necessary.
Serve immediately with some more freshly grated Parmesan