Spaghetti carbonara… maybe the most widely appreciated dish in the world…
The original recipe is made from few ingredients, but they must be chosen with attention and good quality.
Many variations of the spaghetti Carbonara exist, for example with cream, ham, etc. but they it can never be as good as the original one. “Italian recipes are good because they do not change” as an Italian friend of mine said when he ate my pasta carbonara for the first time. In fact I have to admit that I do it a bit differently than the original one …
So the recipe I propose below is my personal version in which I try to keep the original essence of the carbonara, adding to it my personal touch. I received lots of compliments for it, including my Italian friend even if he commented that “It’s not a Carbonara, it’s a pasta Valerie”.
What I do differently:
- I add many spices, including mustard and a lot of nutmeg. The nutmeg gives a special taste to any mixture with cream.
- I use a little bit of cream when I mix the seasoning with the parmesan, to make the salsa softer.
- I include vegetables in the pasta, always. Usually spinach or mushrooms, and in that case it could be called a boscaiola sauce, another Italian sauce made with wild mushrooms (thanks Francesca for the help).
- Use smoked bacon fresh cut from the butcher. It is not more expensive than the one in the supermarket at all (really!) and it has more flavour and texture.
- Grate the Parmesan just before you incorporate it to the salsa, it is definitely tastier.
- In general the pasta used for carbonara are spaghettis or tagliatelles. Personally I prefer pasta like fusilli or penne, because they are easier to mix with the sauce.
Valérie’s spaghetti Carbonara
- 3,5 oz (150g) bacon.
- 3 US cup (200g) spinach or mushrooms.
- 1 US cup (100g) Parmesan.
- 1 egg yolk.
- 1/4 US cup (5cl) cream.
- 1 tspn mustard grainy mustard.
- Seasoning: salt, pepper, coriander, nutmeg (a lot), and any other seasoning you normally use.
- 1 vegetable or spices broth cube.
- 1,1 lbs (500g) pasta of your choice
- Heat enough water to cook the pasta in a large pot. The pot must be large enough to mix the pasta with the sauce easily at the end. When the water boils pour the pasta and the broth cube into the pot and cook for the time indicated.
- Fry the bacon in a pan over medium heat, stirring occasionally until it is crispy.
- If you want to add mushrooms cut them into slices, mix them in the pan when the bacon starts to be crispy and cook until mushrooms are tender and slightly golden. If you prefer spinach, cut them into little pieces, add them when the bacon is almost ready, and let them cook for a few minutes in the pan all together stirring time to time, until their volume reduces and they are blended.
- Once it is cooked turn off the heat and set aside.
- Grate the Parmesan cheese in a bowl, add the egg yolk and mix with a fork. Stir in the cream, the mustard, the seasoning and mix again.
- When the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and set aside a ladle of pasta broth in a bowl. Drain the pasta and put it back in the pot over a very low heat. Stir all the ingredients that you previously prepared, including the bowl of broth to mix the sauce easily with the pasta.
- Stir on low heat for a couple of minutes, turn off heat and it is ready. You can serve the pasta in deep dish.