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Pasta Carbonara

October 26, 2010

I’ve wanted to make my own pasta carbonara for a while now.  The ingredients are simple and fast to throw together and the results are simply magical.  I was a bit afraid of making this egg-cheese sauce, being a little paranoid about getting sick from raw eggs or from over cooking it and ending up with scrambled eggy pasta, but if you work quickly and mix your pasta very well, you will be rewarded with the creamiest velvety sauce you’ve ever had.  The proportions in this recipe are pretty much right on.  The amount of pancetta may seem like a lot, but it adds its flavor without making the dish too salty.  The extra bit of heavy cream further contributes to the creaminess and was a nice addition.  I do not recommend making this ahead of time, but instead eating it as soon as it’s been mixed together and fresh.  Leftovers are good, but don’t expect the same creaminess you get when it’s freshly made.

Pasta Carbonara

from Nigella Lawson, thanks to the bitten word for recommending it

  • 1 pound pasta (I prefer Fettuccine over Spaghetti)
  • 2 cups cubed pancetta rind removed
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (or vermouth)
  • 4 eggs (use good quality local fresh eggs, I get mine from Prairie Grass Farms)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly ground nutmeg

1) Start boiling water in a large pan (for the pasta).

2) In another large pan that will fit the pasta later, cook the pancetta in the oil until crispy but not crunchy.

3) Add wine (or vermouth) and let it bubble away so that, after a few minutes, you have a small amount of salty winey syrup left. Take the pan off the heat.

4) In a bowl, beat together eggs, Parmesan, cream, and pepper.

5) Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, but since you want it to be al dente, start checking it 2 minutes before the recommended cooking time.

6) When the pasta is done, remove approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining.

7) Put the pan with the bacon cubes back on the heat and add the drained pasta, tossing well to coat with the syrupy pancetta.

8 ) Take pan off the heat again and add the egg mixture, quickly and swiftly tossing everything to mix. Thin with pasta water, if needed.

9) Grind over some more pepper and the nutmeg to serve.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. October 26, 2010 8:43 pm

    Iga this looks awesome!! I used to throw this together in college (using bacon) because most people have these ingredients in their fridge. I poached the eggs and added them to the cheese sauce (so the yolk is runny and mixes together to make a creamy sauce) which works too if you’re scared of raw eggs or scrambled pasta 🙂 YUM YUM!!!

    • October 27, 2010 7:37 am

      i love it emily!! poaching the egg is a great way to get around the whole raw thing.

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