If you want to make an authentic spaghetti carbonara, stick to the basics of spaghetti, egg and bacon. Once you comfortable with that, you can get creative and add vegetables and herbs.
To get some greens in, for instance, you can add peas, green beans and fresh herbs. You can also mix up the flavors a bit by using a different type of bacon (pancetta and guanciale are most common for carbonara) or using Romano cheese instead of parmesan.
The trickiest part of this recipe is the eggs, but the eggs are are what elevate this dish from plain spaghetti to carbonara, so don’t be afraid of them. The trick is to make sure the noodles are still hot enough to cook the eggs, but stirring or tossing them constantly so they don’t end up scrambling in the pan.
- ½ pound dry spaghetti noodles
- 2 eggs
- 2 strips of bacon
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 cup green beans, chopped
- 1 cup freshly chopped parsley
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup heavy cream (or boiled water from the noodles)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- While the water is boiling, start the sauce by chopping the bacon and adding it to a large skillet on medium heat.
- Add the garlic and onion to the same skillet till golden brown, then throw in the vegetables to sauté.
- When the water reaches a boil, add the noodles and cook until al dente, about eight minutes. When you drain the noodles, save about half a cup of the starchy water for the sauce if you want to use that instead of the cream.
- Add water or cream to the pan with the meat and vegetables, and heat through.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs in with the finely grated cheese.
- Drain the noodles and pour into the skillet with the sauce, then remove from the heat.
- Add the egg/cheese mixture to the skillet, stirring constantly to prevent scrambling the eggs.
- Toss in some fresh herbs and serve.