This is a carbonara recipe that I have adapted from various websites and cookbooks, including the BBC Good Food website, Jamie Oliver’s books and other recipes that people have put up on blogs and personal websites.
This meal more commonly uses bacon instead of pancetta, but I think that pancetta has a lot more flavor than bacon and it has the potential to be a lot crisper as well. You can substitute the pancetta for bacon in this recipe, but I would suggest using less than ten rashers of bacon. I use 10-14 slices of pancetta because, when it is cooked and as crispy as I want it to be, the meat ends up to be a lot smaller than when it is raw, so you need to compensate for the loss.
You can also add peas if you feel you need something to lighten this dish as it’s mainly pasta, cheese, and meat. In this case, I would suggest a 3/4 cup of peas.
Serves – 2
Prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 15-20 minutes
- Two handfuls of dry spaghetti
- 10 slices pancetta
- A handful of torn up basil leaves
- 2 eggs
- 2 Handfuls of parmesan
- Tablespoon of olive oil
Boil some water seasoned with salt and add the dried spaghetti. Press the pasta down a bit as it gets softer to ensure all of it is submerged in the water.
Using a frying pan over medium heat, heat up the olive oil then cook the pancetta until crispy. Put two sheets of kitchen towel on a plate and move the crisp pancetta onto the kitchen towel. This will help to absorb any excess oil from cooking.
In a small bowl, crack open the two eggs and beat thoroughly. Season with a bit of salt and pepper.
When the spaghetti is cooked, drain all the excess water away. Over a low/medium heat, put the spaghetti back into the saucepan and gently stir in the eggs and parmesan. After around 30 seconds, break up the pancetta into pieces and, with the basil leaves, mix these into the pasta.
Take off the heat before the eggs start becoming lumpier (they’re meant to act kind of like a sauce with the cheese). Sprinkle with parmesan and serve. It can be eaten on its own, with garlic bread or with a salad drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar.