I have a fond memory of eating carbonara in Little Italy with my Mom and Aunt when I was a young girl. The sun was shining and all the waiters were dressed in bow ties and were fawning over us ladies. It was a magical lunch we still reminisce about and sadly we could never find the restaurant again! It was as if we had enjoyed that meal in a time warp or something! So here’s a recipe to help you make your own special memory!
What you need (Serves 2):
- 2 – 4 pieces of bacon, cut into pieces
- 2 – 3 spring garlic stalks, chopped
- A glug of oil
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/4 cup grated hard salty cheese, like lanchengo or parmesan (plus additional for topping off pasta)
- 1 lemon, zest and juice of half
- 2 eggs
- Pasta of your choice, I’m using radiatore
- 2 – 3 tbsp pasta water
The trick to this dish, and any pasta recipe for that matter, is to cook the sauce while the pasta is cooking and then bring them both together at the last moment.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, and salt well. My pasta cooks for 7 minutes, it will take about 8 minutes to cook the bacon and spring garlic. It’s all about timing.
In a large pan, heat a glug of oil and cook the bacon until crispy. Add fresh pepper…bacon loves pepper (you won’t need to add much salt because the bacon and cheese are salty already). Once the bacon is crisp, remove and drain on a paper towel. Add the spring garlic to the pan and cook until soft. While all these elements cook, whisk together the eggs and cheese.
Add in 2 – 3 tbsp of pasta cooking water to the pan and cook until slightly thick. This is a great opportunity to release any yummy goodness sticking to the pan! Remove pan from heat.
When the pasta is done add to the pan with the garlic and toss with the egg mixture. The will be cooked just enough from the heat of the pasta. Add the bacon in, too. Season with more pepper and top with extra cheese! Serve warm.