This Easy Peasy Carbonara recipe is so quick and simple. It is ready in the time it takes to cook pasta and uses only a few simple ingredients. A great meal to make when time is short, but you don’t want to miss out on flavour!
Easy Peasy Carbonara
What’s your go to recipe when time is short? One of my favourites is this Easy Peasy Carbonara… it’s so quick and simple and uses just a handful of basic ingredients, but it’s absolutely packed full of flavour. As a bonus it’s a real crowdpleaser – especially with my kids who ADORE it!
All you have to do is put some pasta on to cook (the sauce is ready in the time it takes the pasta to cook!), fry off some bacon and garlic, then whisk up some eggs, salt and pepper.
When the pasta is ready, you just drain the pasta, then throw in the bacon, garlic and eggs, stir it all together and, finally, grate a little bit of parmesan over the top and you are done! From start to finish in just 15 minutes.
What to serve with Carbonara?
Carbonara really is a whole meal in its own right, so there’s really no need to add any side dishes. But if you really want to, you could add in a little side salad or some crusty bread to mop up those eggy juices. But that’s very much optional.
What to drink with Carbonara
Carbonara is a very wine friendly meal… but it’s definitely a white wine meal. It goes brilliantly with a wide range of white wines, but my favourite matches would be either a lighter-style Chardonnay from somewhere like France or New Zealand, or an Italian white like Soave… or even Pinot Grigio.
Tips for making the perfect Carbonara
Carbonara is a very easy peasy recipe, but there is one thing which can (and often does) go wrong… and that is the eggs can scramble in the heat of the pasta, resulting in what basically looks like pasta with scrambled eggs and bacon, rather than a silky smooth sauce made by the eggs just cooking in the residual heat of the pan.
To ensure your carbonara turns out perfectly each time, here are a few tips:
- When you drain the pasta, make sure you reserve a couple of tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. It is the combination of the eggs and this cooking water that creates the classic silky carbonara sauce.
- Make sure the drained pasta is completely off the heat before you tip in the eggs. Putting the pan back on the heat is a sure-fire way to ensure scrambled egg pasta!
- When you tip the eggs into the pasta, immediately start stirring like crazy. This will do two things. It will ensure the egg gets really well mixed with the pasta water AND it will ensure the eggs don’t get much time in contact with the base of the pan, which will still be hot and may cook the eggs too fast.
- Serve it up straight away. If you leave the carbonara in the pan for much time, the eggs will set too much and you’ll just get a congealed mess!
- If you have followed the above steps and you are still ending up with a big ‘ol mess, try leaving 30 seconds between draining the pasta and stirring in the eggs – just enough time for the temperature in the pan to cool slightly… Don’t leave it too long, though, or it will cool down too much and the eggs won’t get cooked enough.
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Easy Peasy Carbonara
- 300 g spaghetti or linguine
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 200 g bacon (or lardons or pancetta) chopped into small pieces
- 1 garlic clove crushed or grated
- 2 eggs preferably organic (it will make the sauce taste so much better!)
- Salt and pepper
- 50 g parmesan finely grated
- Cook the pasta according to packet instructions / your preferences.
- Pour a tiny drizzle of oil into a frying pan and add the pieces of bacon. Gently fry until golden brown. This should take about 3 minutes.
- When the bacon is almost done, add the garlic and fry for one more minute, then turn off the heat, but leave in the frying pan.
- Crack the two eggs into a small jug and add the salt and pepper, whisk with a fork until the yolks and whites are well combined.
- When the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat, drain and return to the pan along with a few spoonfuls of cooking liquid. (I find this happens naturally if you do it quickly.)
- Tip the eggs into the pasta and quickly stir to coat the pasta in the egg. The egg should gently cook in the residual heat of the pasta and the pan. Do not put the pan back on the heat!
- Finally, tip in the bacon and garlic mix. Stir everything together to make sure it is well mixed and everything is coated in the sauce.
- Serve as soon as possible, with the grated parmesan to sprinkle on top and some more black pepper.
- Not suitable for freezing.
- Nutrition information is approximate and meant as a guideline only.
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