A common misconception about carbonara is that it is sinfully unhealthy, a meal restricted to Friday nights and certainly not part of a strict January detox. I beg to differ. If you are starting with good quality raw ingredients a classic carbonara is not all bad. Let’s start with the ingredients;
This recipe serves 2.
- 3 free-range egg yolks
- a decent chunk of grated parmesan (approx 40g)
- 1 clove of garlic
- 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
- 200g of spaghetti
- 150g of pancetta
- Black pepper
You might notice, no cream! Another common misconception.
What to do:
- Firstly separate your egg yolks from your whites (I suggest freezing the whites to make meringues at a later stage.)
- Mix the yolks and grated parmesan with a fork and grind some black pepper. Leave aside.
- Cook the spaghetti in salted water until al dente. Once cooked, drain and ensure to reserve some of the cooking water.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large frying pan/casserole dish. Add the clove of garlic whole , just crushed slightly with the back of your hand. This is to flavour the oil.
- After a minute, add the pancetta and cook until lightly golden (About 5 minutes). Remove and discard the garlic.
- Add the spaghetti and a splash of the cooking water and a good twist of black pepper and toss together. Remove from the heat.
- Add the egg yolk and parmesan mixture and another splash of water and toss again until nice and glossy. The egg will cook gently but won’t scramble. Check for seasoning and adjust as appropriate.
- Pile high on heated plates and add another twist of black pepper and a little more grated parmesan. (Optional but delicious with a glass of sauvignon blanc.)
So it doesn’t contain your 5 a day but it isn’t all bad! Buying good quality ingredients helps.
Disclaimer – this would not be considered 100% authentic Italian carbonara as I used wholegrain spaghetti and this time (New Year’s Day) I used left over diced Christmas ham.
Hope you enjoy & do let me know if you make it!
My dinner tonight! I was in too much of rush to take a picture but you get the gist.