I mean, the combination of bacon and egg can’t really go wrong, can it?
And combined with delicious, silky pasta …. ?
The secret to all good pasta dishes is not to have them all dried out - just reserve some of that pasta cooking water to add to give it all a little ease, a little slippery glossiness, to make it all just work so much better.
I’ve seen - and tried - my fair share of carbonara recipes …. and find so many so over-complicated.
Some mix the egg with parmesan cheese, seasoning and cream, or even tangy creme fraiche (wrong in this dish in my opinion).
Some use whole eggs, not just the yolk, some use butter.
This is my own favourite go-to quick, easy and delicious - and simple - carbonara recipe.
I made this huge pile of pasta just for me (I don’t eat pasta that often because when I do, I eat GINORMOUS portions of it!) but it would probably feed two - or definitely will do with a little tweaking.
Go with what feels good to you, this is a very instinctive sort of dish, and all the more beautiful for it I think.
cooked pasta - as much as you want - spaghetti or tagliatelle is traditional, but have whatever you like
a couple of slices of bacon - streaky is good and I believe it’s more authentic to have non-smoked, but I like smoked bacon in this so I have smoked back bacon (and remove as much fat as possible)
a clove of garlic (I know I ‘should’ really squash it and add to the oil and then remove later, but I really love garlic so I crush and mince and leave it all in)
a good slosh of olive oil
a tablespoon or so of finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to serve
one egg yolk (and hurrah I now have an egg white to make lemon vodka sour cocktails later!)
a handful of spinach (if liked)
lots of freshly ground black pepper
Get everything ready, cook the pasta, dice the bacon, mince the garlic.
And then just put a slosh of olive oil into a non-stick pan and add the bacon and garlic and cook for four minutes or so, stirring all the time, until done - add a splash of water (some of the pasta cooking water you’ve reserved is ideal) if it looks like it’s going to stick or burn.
Tip in the pasta and a good spoonful or two of the cooking water and most of the grated parmesan and stir to combine until everything’s mixed and hot through.
Add the egg yolk and stir thoroughly to mix it in and combine everything together and then had a handful of baby spinach leaves if liked.
Taste and season with salt and pepper - it probably won’t need salt as bacon is salty but I do love some added freshly ground black pepper.
So simple and so very, very (very) good.