Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Traditional Recipes: Carbonara

Similarly to it's cousin, spaghetti Bolognese, pasta alla carbonara has been morphed by tweaks here and there that threaten the original dish to be forgotten. Most commonly, mushrooms will be added. There are also versions that include cream, chicken, onion, chili and peas. I've even made one with ribbons of courgettes. I've said what I think off changes to traditional recipes in the Bolognese Ragu post, so I want go on. But, suffice to say, I don't think these changes are necessarily a bad thing.

So, what is in a traditional carbonara recipe? Pasta (usually spaghetti, linguine or rigatoni), eggs, cheese (pecorino or parmesan), bacon (pancetta or bacon), olive oil and black pepper. Simple. The pasta is usually spaghetti, but tagliatelle and linguine are also used.

Linguine with bacon and eggs - 'Carbonara'

Serves 4

400g linguine
3 rashers of bacon, cooked and chopped
3 eggs, beaten
50g pecorino, grated
(plus extra to serve)
Black pepper, to taste

Cook the linguine per packet instructions. Drain, then return to the pan and stir in the eggs so that they cook in the residual heat of the pasta. Add the bacon and cheese. Season with black pepper to taste and serve with extra pecorino.

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  1. Brilliant, classic dish! I love that you didn't use cream to make this. :)

  2. Hi Maya,

    There's no need for cream, the eggs give it richness and creaminess. The only thing I might do sometimes is add a splash of the pasta water, if I think it's looking a bit too dry.