I’m fully aware I’m combining both Italian and French in the title of this post but hey, it sounded fancy. As the winter months stretch on, my salad cravings tend to dwindle and I find myself instead drawn to the notion of Pasta Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday-you get the idea.
The first time I travelled to Italy, I fell in love with ALL the food. The second time, I found a whole new appreciation for pasta and appreciated I did. In Rome, I enjoyed one of the most incredible pasta experiences of my entire life , yet the sauce had just 5 ingredients. Pasta is routinely overcomplicated by us folks in North America (why add carrots to spaghetti sauce?!). In Italy, pasta is beautifully simple and, depending on the region you travel, minimalist without compromising flavour.
Here is a simple, yet delicious recipe for carbonara that lets the noodle shine with no need to add cream. It is so easy even the amateur cook can recreate it without any fancy equipment or ingredients. And it takes just 20 minutes from start to finish so you can really make it any night of the week.
What you’ll need for your Carbonara for Two:
5 garlic cloves
1/2 cup of olive oil
Butter (use as you please)
1 tbsp red pepper flakes
1/2 cup green peas
100 grams of pancetta (bacon will also suffice)
Spaghetti or Linguine (preferably fresh but I use dry this time around)
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup of Parmesan Cheese
Parsley and pepper to taste
Start by heating your pan on a low to medium heat. Add olive oil and butter. Keep the garlic cloves whole and add to the heated pan. Then add your pancetta and let cook. It doesn’t take long so once it turns a richer red, add your half cup of peas. You should have a pot of water on for your pasta at this point as your sauce will be ready in no time! Crack three eggs removing the white from the yolk. Place your egg yolks in a bowl and stir until they’re mixed together. Add your Parmesan cheese to the yolks and stir again. Place your pasta in the bowling water and make sure to add salt and oil to the water. Once your pasta is cooked, strain the pasta and add directly to your sauce pan. Make sure to keep half a cup of the starchy pasta water and add this to your pasta and sauce. Turn the heat off and remove your pan from the stove top. Let sit for a minute to allow it to cool down. Then add your yolks and parm to the pasta and marry your yolks with the other ingredients in your pan.