This is one of my favorite recipes to make. It’s really quick to pull together, and I always have everything on hand in the fridge and pantry, making it great for my #EffortlessApril. I’ve already got it up on the blog here, with step by step photos, because when I only had two kids I seemed to have a lot more time for writing posts. Seeing as I posted it three years ago though, it was time to pull it back to the front so everyone can see it.
The best part of carbonara is that you can substitute what you have on hand. If you don’t have pancetta, use bacon. If you don’t have fresh parsley, use dried. If you don’t have both of the cheeses, just use one.
This is meant to be a quick and easy dinner that you can make last-minute when you’ve forgotten to take something out of the freezer, or just because it’s delicious. I don’t want to play that down either – this is the pasta recipe that convinced me you don’t need to go out for pasta any more. In less than 30 minutes you’ll be eating something just as good as you can get at your favorite Italian restaurant.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup freshly grated pecorino romano cheese
- 1/3 cup freshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
- 500 g good quality dried spaghetti
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ pound pancetta, cut into cubes
- 5 cloves peeled garlic, very thinly sliced
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- flat leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and add the pasta, cooking for about 9 minutes until just past al dente.
- In a small bowl, mix the cheeses and eggs together well and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until just starting to crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for about 1 minute, until just starting to soften.
- If required, sop up some of the excess fat in the pan, leaving about 3 tablespoons.
- Add the wine and let cook down until reduced to half.
- When the pasta is cooked, drain and then place in a large bowl. Add the cheese mixture and toss well, ensuring that all the pasta is evenly coated.
- Add the pasta to the skillet with the pancetta and garlic. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper, then toss well.
- Garnish with parsley and serve.