My kind of Fast-Food: Home-Cooked Pasta Carbonara

Pasta Carbonara Gather and Graze

On nights like tonight, after baking batches of muffins and cookies for children’s end of term parties at school tomorrow, a quick, easy pasta dish for dinner was all I had time for. I love that this recipe is cooked in the time it takes to boil the water and cook the pasta. It’s always a hit with the kids, especially when served with a little garlic bread on the side!

There are so many fabulous variations of Pasta Carbonara out there, but I still felt keen to document and share this particular version – it’s the one we’ve been cooking for years now and we still haven’t tired of it.

A quick post for a quick pasta!

Pasta Carbonara

  • Servings: 3-4 (enough for our family…)
  • Print

  • 300g (Dried) Pasta
  • 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 200g Diced Speck (or Bacon)
  • ¼ cup White Wine
  • 2 Free-Range Egg Yolks
  • 100mls Pouring Cream
  • A large handful of Finely Grated Parmesan (or Grana Padano) Cheese
  • A sprinkling of Freshly Ground Nutmeg
  • A little Sea Salt and Pepper

Place a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a rolling boil. In a book I’m currently reading, ‘In Search of Total Perfection’, Heston Blumenthal recommends about 1 litre of water for every 100g of pasta.

While the water is coming to the boil, place the egg yolks, cream, parmesan, nutmeg and seasonings into a small mixing bowl and stir well to combine. Set this bowl aside for later on.

Once the water is boiling, add some salt (another Heston tip: add 10g of salt for every 100g of pasta) and give a quick stir before throwing in the pasta. Stir again gently to make sure none of the pasta is sticking together.

In a medium-sized frying pan over med-high heat, pour in the olive oil and when hot, add the speck. Fry until nice and golden. Turn the heat down a little and add the white wine, stirring to lift any little bits of speck stuck to the bottom of the pan. Allow the wine to simmer for a few minutes until syrupy and then turn off the heat.

Keep an eye on the pasta and strain it in a colander as soon as ‘al dente’ (tender, but with a slight bite). Add the drained pasta directly into the frying pan and toss briefly in the oil and speck until all of the pasta is coated. Remove the pan from the stove (so that the sauce doesn’t curdle from the eggs coming in to contact with too much heat) and stir in the egg/cream mixture. The sauce will thicken slightly with this gentle stirring. Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Serve immediately.

Cooking Notes:

  • If you can find good quality Speck where you live, please give it a try! It has a slightly smoky flavour and a touch of juniper berry, that is really wonderful in this dish.

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12 thoughts on “My kind of Fast-Food: Home-Cooked Pasta Carbonara

    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      I agree whole-heartedly Lidia! We eat pasta 2 – 3 times each week in our family and life just wouldn’t be the same without it (in all of it’s various, wonderful forms!)

      Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Thanks Danny! You could certainly put in less cream than what’s suggested in the recipe – even putting in just a couple of tablespoons, along with the egg yolks and parmesan will give a lovely result. 🙂

      Reply
  1. johnnysenough hepburn

    Will have to hunt around for the speck as I’m so into anything with juniper! I’ve heard of it but never seen it for sale. Nice carbonara! Now I’m buying only organic eggs I just might make it again after years of not doing so.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      That’s great – I really hope you’re able to track down some speck – it seems to have a more complex flavour than most types of bacon that I’ve tried. As for the eggs, yes, you really do need to be sure that they’re as fresh as possible for this dish. I can imagine your recent experience would have been incredibly off-putting and make you hesitate somewhat each time you now crack open an egg! Hopefully it won’t ever happen again! Cheers, Margot

      Reply
  2. Naoko Green

    Great idea. I will use egg yolk next time, not a whole egg. It was not pretty with a slightly cooked egg white.

    Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Hi Naoko, I think using just the yolks (mixed with some cream) gives it a really smooth, luscious texture and a rich flavour. The egg whites can then be kept for use in something else – usually meringues or pavlova in my case. 🙂 Margot.xx

      Reply
    1. Gather and Graze Post author

      Lovely to hear that Karen – I really hope you like it! It’s also great in that almost all of the ingredients are things that are already to hand, in the fridge or pantry – ready to go at a moments notice. 🙂

      Reply

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