It is a very rare occasion when my family (that’s me, hubby and little man) stay home on a Saturday night and cook. Usually we order in takeaway food, go to a family-friendly cafe/restaurant or we are cooking for a dinner party or have the pleasure of other people cooking for us. Last night we decided to stay in and cook this lovely, creamy dish – carbonara with bucatini pasta. Bucatini because my husband prefers it over spaghetti.
I have always been a lover of cream-based pasta. As a child my mum rarely cooked it for us because my dad disliked it, so it was definitely a treat if it did end up on the table. When I moved out of home and would make creamy pasta myself, I had no idea that carbonara sauce had egg yolks. I would throw together some cream and a bit of parmesan and expect it to taste like something I’d find at a restaurant, only to be gastronomically disappointed. It wasn’t until a few years back that I actually read a recipe for carbonara (bad Italian!).
Granted it is not the healthiest of dishes, but I did add mushrooms (some spring onion wouldn’t hurt either, says hubby).
Adapted from the book Simply Italian by Sophie Braimbridge
1 tablespoon olive oil
250g pancetta, chopped into thin strips
6 medium sized button mushrooms, chopped
1 clove garlic, crushed
6 tablespoons low fat pouring cream
6 egg yolks
500g spaghetti, bucatini, fettucine or tagliatelle
50g parmesan/romano/pecorino, grated (add more if you like)
Heat the olive oil and cook the pancetta, mushrooms and garlic until the pancetta is crisp and the mushrooms are soft but still tender. Strain off the fat and leave to cool.
Mix together the cream and the egg yolks and put to the side.
Cook your pasta in plenty of salted, rapidly boiling water. Drain quickly, letting some of the cooking water cling to the pasta, and then pop back into the saucepan with the element on a low heat. Throw in your pancetta mix and the cream mixture, along with the parmesan chese, and stir well. The dish should be silky and glossy.
Serve immediately with crusty bread (if you are not watching your carb intake!)