What we love about the carbonara is how simple it is. Just a few ingredients, it’s a fast dish to put together and a hard dish to screw up. Have a few people coming over? It’s a crowd-pleaser that will delight everyone who enjoys pasta. What’s more? It feels very fancy. For guests, their mouths will drop when you pull out a spaghetti carbonara. For many of them, it’s likely going to be their first time. For others, they will be surprised by the quality of the dish that they have ordered so many times at restaurants. Yes, this recipe will be as good as anything you’ve had in a fancy restaurant. It’s a 5-star dish, even if the ingredients you use aren’t top-shelf.
The way it works is pretty simple. The pasta carbonara is a rich, cheesy, and eggy dish. Yes, eggy. Surprised? Wait until you hear how you cook the eggs. That will blow your mind.
Pretty simply, you cook pasta. In a skillet, you fry bacon and garlic. Meanwhile, you prepare a bowl of beaten egg yokes and Parmesan cheese. Once the pasta is cooked, you transfer the steaming hot noodles to the bowl. Mix it all up. The eggs cook to the noodles. The cheese melts into the dish. Then you pour on top of all that the hot bacon and grease. Sprinkle a little fresh Parmesan on top.
When we first made this dish, we added whole eggs. That was a mistake. It’s less creamy, more watery, and not as satisfying. 2 whole eggs will make the dish less delicious than 2 egg yokes, trust us.
In all, the whole process takes about 20 minutes. And the prep time is almost non-existent. And even if you mess up (which you won’t) cooking it again is trivial (and pretty cheap). The most delicate bit of this process is in the roasting and adding of the garlic. Don’t burn it. It will leave the dish tasting bitter. Still edible, but not great.
The best part of this dish is how it scales. The recipe we are sharing is for 2 people. As is the case with most recipes, just double it if you have 4. The difference here, however, is that the dish really doesn’t take any longer to make. In the same amount of time, you could feed 2 people or 100 people. As long as you scale the dish properly, it will all work out. And 15 minutes is 15 minutes. Ok, maybe 100 people would take a bit more prep. But, honestly, not much more.
For the unorthodox, those who could give two wits about tradition, adding 4 oz’s of fresh cherry tomatoes to the recipe below brings a sugary pop of cool delight to this rich, savory dish. But don’t tell your Italian grandfather or that guy who taught you how to make this at Johnson Wales. They’ll tell you it’s not a carbonara if you mess with it. But we’re Americans here at gris.tl. So, we do what tastes better – tradition be damned.
At the end, you have left over egg whites. We recommend following this dish with a delicious Pavlova. Merging this heavy Italian cuisine with the light, airy, fruit-topped Pavlova will delight anyone who partakes in your little foodie experiment. And before you say, “I’ve never made a Pavlova, how will I ever pull it off,” let us promise you, it’s not that hard. And the beaut of the Pavlova is that if you do it right, it will come out of the oven hot, just as you and your guests finish the eating of the carbonara.
Good luck to you, and let us know how it turns out.