Spaghetti carbonara is one of the easiest, most simple pasta recipes there is, with simple comforting flavours that are a winner for the whole family. It can be whipped up with very little effort using ingredients that you will almost certainly have in the fridge already. Make sure not to overlook the spoonful of spaghetti water, as it is actually a key ingredient. The starchy water makes a slick, simple sauce that helps the silky egg, cheese and bacon mixture stick to the pasta. The basic ingredients make it a great cheap midweek dinner, particularly if the fridge is looking a little bare. It is really easy to bulk the recipe out for more people, and you can make the sauce even richer by adding an extra egg yolk or two – saving the egg whites for a meringue based dessert. Be sure to serve the carbonara with plenty of black pepper, and an extra sprinkling of Parmesan if you like your spaghetti cheesy.
- 300g (10oz) spaghetti
- 1tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 100g (4oz) bacon, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 50g (2oz) Parmesan, grated
- 2 free-range eggs
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and the spaghetti and boil for 8 minutes then drain, but reserve a cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan and add the bacon. Cook for 5 minutes, then stir through the garlic and cook for a further minute.
Mix the Parmesan and eggs together, then toss through the spaghetti with the bacon until evenly coated. Add 100ml (4fl oz) of the cooking liquid, toss again, then serve with plenty of cracked black pepper.
Give this dish a flash of colour and extra flavour by adding grated courgette to the pan while you fry the bacon