A home made Spaghetti Carbonara is the best and so quick to make. This Spaghetti carbonara has no cream, which makes it less heavy. The cheese and eggs seem more than enough, plus you are much more likely to have those ingredients in your fridge. Ready in just 25 minutes, this is a great mid-week dish. This carbonara is also a great way to use up any leftover gammon. If you're looking for an alternative to bacon, you might like my Smoked Salmon Carbonara
What does Spaghetti Carbonara mean?
A carbonara is an Italian pasta dish that originates from Rome. Traditionally, it is made with eggs, a hard italian cheese such as pecorino or parmesan, or a combination of both. These ingredients make up the sauce, which you then mix with ham or bacon. The word Carbonara might come from the Italian word for 'charcoal burner', which is carbonaro. Some believe the dish was first made as a hearty meal for Italian charcoal workers.
Are the eggs raw in a Spaghetti Carbonara?
The egg mixture is added raw to the pasta and the heat of the pasta cooks the eggs. The first time you cook this recipe, it may seem strange, but trust me, this is how the Italians have been making it for centuries. You will know when the eggs are cooked because you will see the texture change to something that looks like scambled egg, but more runny.
Spaghetti Carbonara is a great dish for using up any leftover gammon or ham you might have from a Roast Gammon. I've suggested using broccoli to go with the spaghetti, but use anything green and in season. If you can, try to buy your vegetables loose and from a local source. All the ingredients are available as organic. I appreciate it may not be possible to buy everything organic, but you might be able to buy one. Black peppercorns are available as Fairtrade and will last you ages. Buying Fairtrade can make a massive difference to some of the world's poorest farmers
Storing Spaghetti Carboanra
Spaghetti Carbonara can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. You can re-heat spaghetti carbonara but because it already has the egg and cheese mixed in, it's best only re-heated in a microwave. Personally, I like it cold and it makes a great lunch the next day. If you're after some other lunch ideas, you might like these
How to make Spaghetti Carbonara
Spaghetti Carbonara No Cream
- 3 eggs organic or freerange
- 1 dash black pepper organic, fairtrade, freshly ground
- 100 g Parmesan cheese organic, grated
- 350 g spaghetti organic, fairtrade
- 500 g broccoli organic, cut into even sized florets
- 50 g butter organic, preferably unsalted
- 2 cloves garlic organic, peeled and left whole
- 200 g unsmoked bacon or leftover gammon, cut into small pieces
- Put a large pan of lightly salted water on to boil. Beat the eggs together in a bowl, season with freshly ground black pepper and stir in most of the cheese.
- Put the spaghetti into the pan and cook as per the packet instructions. Steam the broccoli over the top for the last 4 -5 minutes.
- Melt the butter in a large frying pan. Using the back of a knife, press down on the garlic bulbs. This helps the flavour to be released. Add to the frying pan along with the bacon or pancetta or leftover gammon and fry the meat, stirring often until it it crispy. The leftover gammon won't crisp up in the same way as the bacon, just fry it for 2 minutes to heat through. Remove the garlic cloves with a slotted spoon and discard. The garlic flavour will be left.
- Keep the heat on low and when the spaghetti is cooked, scoop out a small cup of pasta water and put to one side then drain the rest and empty the spaghetti into the frying pan with the meat. Toss it all together and make sure the pasta is well coated in the butter.
- The crucial moment. You need a couple of minutes undisturbed. Take the frying pan off the heat and quickly pour in the eggs and cheese. Toss it furiously together and once it begins to thicken, add a splash of the pasta water to loosen it, add more water until you get the desired consistency.
- Toss it again and serve immediately with the remainder of the cheese sprinkled on top and some more freshly ground black pepper. Serve with the broccoli for a good dose of dietary fibre, vitamins and minerals.