03 February 2010

Carbonara - The (Almost) Traditional Way

The Abstract Gourmet (who, by the way, is a FAR better writer than myself - check it out) has recently been espousing the joys of a proper carbonara. Now, I love carbonara - all forms of carbonara (even the boarding school carbonara he despised - 3 years in a boarding school and 5 years in a residential college couldn't put me off it!), including the ones in which I replace the fettucini/spaghetti with rice noodles. (Hey, they're thin and flat - totally counts!) I normally do a quiche-type thing with eggs, bacon, cream, cheese and spaghetti/rice noodles which I then bake in the oven. It's delicious and easy, but not exactly what you'd describe as traditional. However, this recipe from the Abstract Gourmet seems to be a) quick (even quicker than my usual one!), b) almost as easy, and c) slightly less bad for you (2 cups of cream doesn't exactly make the arteries sing...!)

I replaced the spaghetti with rice noodles (I didn't have any gluten free pasta in the house and I couldn't be arsed going to the shops) and bacon instead of guanciale or pancetta (again, the lazy factor came into play) so it's not *exactly* traditional... but it's still yummy and easy!

Since my mum came over for dinner, I served it with some salad - she's the kind of woman who firmly believes a meal is not complete unless there is green on the plate - but it's a meal in and of itself if you can't be bothered being healthy!

Lazy Cook's Take on Traditional Carbonara
  • 4 rashers bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • olive oil
  • 2 large cloves Garlic minced
  • 3 Eggs
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • handful finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 packet rice noodles
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Extra parmesan, to top
frying pan + spatula
knife + cutting board
  1. Slice the bacon up into small pieces.
  2. Mince the garlic and fry it in a hot pan with olive oil until it’s soft, then add the bacon and fry them together.
  3. Put your noodles into a pot with plenty of salt and boil it until al dente (about 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave if you're using rice noodles).
  4. Once the noodles are done, drain it well and then add it to the pan with the bacon, tossing it well.
  5. Crack the eggs and mix them together with the cheese, take the pan completely off the heat and then pour the eggs into the pasta, stirring constantly to combine it. What you’re making is a very simple sauce where the egg cooks just enough from the heat of the pasta to bind it all together with a lovely creamy texture. Add a little of the noodle water if you need to get some more movement happening.
  6. Toss it all together well, add the handful of parsley and a sprinkling of fresh black pepper. Salt to taste.
  7. Top with the extra parmesan and serve

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