By Marie Muccio
Pasta carbonara, it’s a traditional Italian pasta dish that’s become a family favourite. It’s well known around the world and you will find this creamy, cheesy pasta in almost every Italian restaurant. With the right recipe and technique, you can make the perfect carbonara in your own kitchen.
I want to share my own family recipe because it’s not only fool proof but it’s delicious. So much so that I go back to this recipe time and time again and the more practice I get the better it tastes.
I think the reason this recipe works so well and tastes so good is because it satisfies the great debate. Should carbonara be made with egg yolks or cream? I say both!
I used fusilli (spiral) pasta because I love how easily the sauce can coat this type of pasta and get into all the crevasses. Spaghetti works really well for carbonara of course but you can really use any pasta that you like such as penne, bow ties or fettuccine.
This is one of those ridiculously easy recipes where your sauce is ready before the pasta is even cooked. So it’s perfect for any night of the week especially when you’re particularly short on time.
The trick is to have your sauce done and ready to go so when the pasta is ready you can work quickly. Adding some of the pastas cooking water helps to loosen up the sauce and leave you with a silky but still creamy consistency. It’s imperative that when you mix the sauce through the pasta you remove the pan from the heat. This is to prevent the sauce from curdling.
Carbonara is a dish that tastes best when it’s nice and hot so once the pasta is ready, be sure to bring everyone to the table and serve it up straight away. Serve the pasta into big bowls topped with some more parmesan.
A glass of your favourite Pinot Noir is perfectly paired with pasta carbonara.
- 500g penne
- 1tbs olive oil
- 4 rashes is bacon cut into thin strips
- 10 button mushrooms thinly sliced
- 4 springs fresh thyme stems removed
- Parmesan cheese to serve
For the sauce
- 4 large egg yolks
- 100ml cream
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Small bunch parsley finely chopped
- Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the penne according to packet instructions.
- Heat oil in a large frying pan on medium-high heat. Add bacon and fry until golden and crisp.
- Add the mushrooms, thyme and a good pinch of freshly cracked pepper to give it extra flavour.
- Add the parsley and continue to cook for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile in a bowl add the egg yolks, cream and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and whisk together until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain, reserving a cup of the starchy water. Pour the pasta back in the pot then add the bacon and mushroom mixture and toss through.
- Now working quickly, add a ladleful of the reserved cooking water and the carbonara sauce. Stir together quickly until the pasta is evenly coated in the sauce.
- Serve with extra parmesan cheese and a few sprigs of fresh thyme for garnish.
Mrsfoodiemumma – Marie Muccio, foodie, wife, mum of three and loving granddaughter – inspiring you to get excited about food!