August 1, 2016When in Rome, do as the Romans and eat Spaghetti Carbonara. Or just try it at home next time you are busy and need a quick and substantial dinner.
- Prep: 15 mins
- Cook: 15 mins
- Difficulty: Easy
- Yields: Serves 4
This is a classic Italian dish originating from Rome. Surprisingly it is possibly even more popular in Australia, where it is apparently the most searched for recipe online. Well, search no more - it doesn't get much easier (or tastier) than this.
Many recipes call for cream to enrich the egg yolks even more, though I usually prefer the drier consistency of using the yolks on their own. It makes the dish a little lighter, but if you feel like it you can add a few tablespoons of cream to the yolks for a richer, velvet-like alternative.
Spaghetti is the obvious pasta of choice, but there is no reason you can't use whatever you have to hand or even go crazy and roll some fresh pasta yourself.
If you are using dried pasta, make sure you buy the best you can afford. Pasta is a relatively inexpensive ingredient and there is a lot of variation in quality. Good quality dried pasta can be enjoyed with some salt and olive oil, where a poor quality one can't be rescued by even the most delicious of sauces.
The water you boil your pasta in needs to be as salty as the sea, that means about 10% salt or 10g per 100ml of water. It seems excessive, but will ensure your pasta is correctly seasoned.
Increase the heat of the pan with the onions to high and add the bacon, mushrooms and chilli. Cook for 10 minutes or so, stirring occasionally until the bacon becomes crispy and the mushrooms are nicely browned.
Meanwhile, bring a large pan of water to the boil and add 10g salt per 100ml of water. Place the pasta in the water and cook until al dente - this may well be a couple of minutes less than it says on the pack. Remember that the pasta will continue to cook once it has been removed from the water also.
Drain the cooked pasta in a colander and add it to the bowl with the yolk mixture along with a couple of tablespoons of the cooking water. Mix well until combined and then add the fried onions, mushrooms and bacons and toss together.
Try and find some really good quality bacon - it makes all the difference to the final dish.