The Ultimate Spaghetti Carbonara
Time: 20 minutes
This is based on the recipe given by Marcella Hazan in The Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking. I have the greatest of respect for Marcella’s recipes, but she has a patronising and rather anally-retentive style that can get on one’s nerves. I have therefore omitted to give the precise dimensions to which the bacon pieces should be trimmed, and permitted myself a few liberties with the amounts.
- 3 oz / 80 g bacon or pancetta, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- a dash of dry white wine
- 2 eggs
- 2 oz / 50 g freshly grated cheese (parmesan + cheddar, GruyÃ¨re, Sbrinz or similar)
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp crÃ¨me fraÃ®che or heavy cream
- 7 oz / 200 g spaghetti
- salt and black pepper
- Peel the garlic and squash the cloves a little with the flat of a knife. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the whole cloves until they are a deep golden brown. Throw them away.
- Add the bacon or pancetta to the garlic-flavoured oil and cook until it starts to go crispy. Throw in the wine, let it bubble away for a couple of minutes, then turn off the heat.
- Lightly beat the eggs in what will eventually be your serving bowl; add lots of grindings of black pepper, the parsley, cream and grated cheese.
- Cook the pasta, drain it and add it to the eggy mixture. Toss it quickly and thoroughly, making sure all the strands are coated with thickening egg and melting cheese.
- Add the bacon and toss again.
- Serve it in heated bowls (all the tossing tends to cool the spaghetti quite rapidly).