I’ve had pasta carbonara in restaurants many times, but had never tried my hand at making it until now. Since I was making it for one, I just tried to figure out the measurements – and I learned a few things in doing so.
Pasta Carbonara has very simple ingredients – pasta, egg, parmesan cheese and pancetta (or bacon – and that’s what I used, because that is all I had). I also added a little bit of salt (not much, as the bacon is salty) and pepper.
I started by chopping 2 pieces of thick cut bacon into small pieces.
Then fry the bacon in a pan.
First lesson learned: Don’t try to fry bacon, when you’re home alone with an adventurous puppy – I got my bacon a little more crisp than I intended to (and have no photographic evidence of frying it) – thanks to Ollie. This is Ollie (in lieu of a picture of the bacon frying).
After the bacon is done, remove it from the pan (keep the bacon grease!!). I quickly prepped the egg and cheese mixture at this point.
Second lesson learned: Despite the fact that I love parmesan cheese, don’t use as much as you think you want. I used a little under 2/3 cup of cheese – I think I needed probably about 1/2 of that to get a shinier, smoother sauce (and I could have added more parm when serving).
Third lesson learned: I think that this recipe might work better with freshly grated parmesan cheese. I only had the pre-grated (not powder, but pre-grated) kind.
When my pasta was done, I was sure to reserve a little bit of the water. Then I threw the pasta into the pan with the bacon grease and stirred through. I turned off the heat and added in the egg and parmesan mixture and continuously stirred it, to ensure that the egg didn’t scramble. I used a little of the pasta water to thin it out, as needed. Then I added the bacon back in, and mixed through.
I served the pasta with a little bit of fresh basil.
It was really good – however, I think that it will be even better – next time – when I give consideration to the lessons that I learned. The pasta carbonara that I’ve had, and loved, in the past was much smoother. I think that using less cheese would do the trick here.
Since this was so simple (and I plan to try it again to get it closer to what I’ve had before, I’m not going to write it up as a ‘recipe’, per se). I will try to do that when I’ve had a chance to come back to it! Hopefully, it will be during a time that I will be cooking for more than just me!