I have a version of carbonara I like to use when I need to keep the calorie- or egg-count low for this classic Italian pasta dish, but sometimes I need to bust out the real deal. The recipe often comes up for fervent debate, but I think most can agree that pancetta, eggs, cream and parmesan play a part in there somewhere. I love the sweet pungency of garlic, so I also chuck a clove in there for fragrance. For me it’s best when the pasta is really al dente, the sauce slick with no lumpy egg bits, big punches of salty pancetta, with a tiny tingle of black pepper at the end.
Tagliatelle carbonara (serves 2):
4 tagliatelle nests
100g pancetta, diced
1 garlic clove, peeled but whole
50ml single cream
2 egg yolks
Large handful of parmesan
- Beat the egg yolks, cream and parmesan together with plenty of black pepper and set aside.
- Boil the tagliatelle until al dente. While you do this fry the pancetta and garlic together in a little oil until the meat starts to crisp. Discard the garlic at this point.
- Ladle a big splash of the pasta liquor into the pan with the pancetta, drain the pasta off and add this into the same pan.
- Turn the heat off, and working very quickly add the sauce mixture into the pan. Shake the pan vigorously and beat with a wooden spoon to make the sauce stick to the pasta. Removing the pan from the heat, and the vigorous motion will stop the egg from scrambling. After about 45 seconds check for seasoning, then serve immediately.