When I was in Italy, I bought some preserved black truffles and wanted to make something with them before they expired. I felt like truffles and pasta go really well together so I decided to make a carbonara (also Italian, so I guess it was fitting). I heard carbonara was a little tricky to make because if it’s too hot, it will scramble the eggs and you won’t get that creamy sauce. I was up for the challenge though and was pleasantly surprised by the result.
I looked up a few recipes online, watched a couple of Youtube videos and put them all together to create the below.
- 12 oz dried spaghetti (3/4 box)
- 3 large eggs
- 8 oz thick sliced bacon (they recommend guanciale or pancetta but we couldn’t find any)
- About 4 oz (1 cup) grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese (or pecorino)
- [Optional] Another 1-2 oz of cheese to shave on top
- Salt and pepper to taste
Putting it together
- Grate the cheese
- Cut the bacon into 1/2 inch pieces
- Note: for the next few steps, you’ll want to try to cook your pasta so it’s done cooking the same time as your bacon
- Follow the directions on the package to cook the pasta
- In a bowl, mix the egg, cheese, salt/pepper
- Cook the bacon on med-high heat until the edges are golden brown. Keep it warm until the pasta is done.
- Once the spaghetti is done, take some tongs and scoop it over to the pan with the bacon
- Turn the heat off and add the egg/cheese mixture and stir quickly. It was easier for us to have 2 people do this (one to stir, one to pour). The residue heat from the spaghetti and bacon will cook the egg enough so that it’s not raw, but not hot enough that it will turn it into scrambled eggs.
- [Optional] If you want your carbonara to be creamier, add some pasta water to the mixture and keep stirring. It’s suggested to add about half a cup of water, though some recipes don’t tell you to do this.
Once the pasta is coated, serve immediately.
- [Optional] Grate some more cheese and add some more pepper on top. We also shaved a few truffle slices as well.
We were pleasantly surprised by the results – mostly because we timed it well and the eggs didn’t turned into scrambled eggs. We were so focused on not turning the eggs into scrambled eggs that we didn’t put that much water so it didn’t turn out as creamy as it probably should have been (though some recipes don’t tell you to put extra water). It still turned out pretty well though. With just 5 ingredients (6 including the black truffles), it had good flavors from the cheese (it’s salty) and from the bacon (it’s fatty and salty). I actually really enjoyed it and would make it again.
How to Make Classic Carbonara | Jamie Oliver – mostly because he’s just entertaining
How to Cook Spaghetti alla Carbonara – one of the first recipes I found