Written by Jeanette Smith 26th May 2020
I love making easy, cheap, tasty and fast food. It works well for my family and our lifestyles.
I have tried so many recipes for carbonara, and never found one that was like one I’d had years ago in a restaurant. The packets and jars simply don’t come close to anything tasty, and like so many things we purchase in store, they’re so full of artificial ingredients and things that really do not need to be in them, but they are put in them to try and create a taste. A taste you will get if you cook it yourself!
So, after many years of failed attempts I had given up. I’d given up trying to make it and given up trying all the various types of packets, sauces and jars.
3 years ago we hosted an Italian young man (we have hosted students from different countries for 17 years now, but this was our 2nd Italian. The first one could not cook!) And he cooked the most amazing Spaghetti Carbonara. I watched in amazement at how easy it was.
Now, I’m sure this recipe is probably online, and I had quite likely attempted it at some stage, but it never worked out the way his did.
So, I got him to make it again during his stay and I watched every move he made. Taking in the way he made it and in exactly what order.
So, I present to you Spaghetti Carbonara…in my opinion, the easiest and tastiest recipe for it I have ever tried.
- 1 x 500g pack of spaghetti (feeds 6 adults, I use wholewheat for the health benefits)
- 1 x 200g pack of grated parmesan (or grate it yourself)
- 4 eggs
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed (I had to use garlic paste as I was out of fresh garlic)
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- Handful of chopped mushrooms (optional)
- 1 twin pack diced pancetta or bacon lardons, smoked or unsmoked. It’s down to preference. Or you can cut up a packet of streaky bacon rashers.
- Olive oil.
Cook the pasta according to pack instructions.
Meanwhile, prepare the vegetables.
In a hot pan, add a tablespoon of olive oil and the bacon/pancetta. Stir fry in for a few minutes until it’s cooked through.
Add in the onion, garlic and mushrooms and continue to fry until the bacon crisps up.
While the bacon mix is cooking, prepare your sauce.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat with ground black pepper.
Add the parmesan into the egg and beat until smooth and creamy looking.
When the pasta is cooked, reserve 2 ladles of the water and drain the rest.
Add the pasta into the pan with the bacon mix, then add the egg mix, a little olive oil and the reserved pasta water.
Give it all a good mix up, then serve with garlic bread.
This meal cost less than €5 to make. It fed 6 adult size portions with a little left over for lunch tomorrow.