Spaghetti alla carbonara or Pasta with Eggs, Pancetta and Parmesan is a recipe taken from Gino D’Acampo’s book – The I Diet (The Italian Diet). What a character he is, and never more so than when he is extolling the virtues of Italian food!
He has got a point though, the Italian (Mediterranean) diet is delicious; it is also full of healthy fish, lean meats, pulses, olive oil and fruits and vegetables, which explains why people who live in Mediterranean Italy are slimmer, healthier and live longer.
I love the introduction to this book “I am dedicating this book to all the curvy women out there who are constantly calorie counting. Remember, no man likes to chew on bones!”
For most people, when they think of “carbonara” they picture unhealthy double cream, bacon and mushrooms. But that is not the authentic way; the traditional recipe uses only good pancetta, eggs and cheese ! I have adapted this recipe slightly to use Parmesan instead of Pecorino Romano as in the original (I prefer it).
Ingredients (serves 4)
350 g spaghetti
150 g smoked pancetta cut into bits
2 tbsp olive oil
75 g Parmesan
4 tbsp flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper
- Pour 4 litres of water into a pan and bring to the boil with 3 tbsp salt. Cook the spaghetti in the water until “al dente” (1 min less than packet instructions).
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the pancetta until golden and crispy. Turn off the heat.
- Whisk the eggs in a bowl with half of the cheese, add the parsley and some black pepper.
- Drain the spaghetti and add to the pan with the pancetta, pour over the egg mixture and toss together well (the heat from the pasta will cook the egg to a creamy moist texture).
- Season as required and serve with the remaining Parmesan sprinkled over
This is such a quick recipe and a great standby as the ingredients are so simple and most likely already in your fridge! It goes great with some frozen petits pois.
To make this even more healthy you can cut out the oil and dry fry the pancetta as it contains enough fat on its own and is still really tasty.
See more recipes in the book: