We Made Jamie Oliver's 7-ingredient Carbonara
Whenever I visit an Italian restaurant, the first thing I do, is check the menu for carbonara. It always satisfies my constant cravings for pasta and eggs. In a way, it’s sort of like bacon and eggs in pasta form, with the incorporation of pancetta.
But seeing that Steven and I are always looking out for it when we’re out and about, we figured we might as well add a carbonara recipe to our repertoire so that we can enjoy it at home whenever we want.
When I came across Jamie Oliver’s recipe, I realized just how easy it was to make one of my favorite meals. With just 7 ingredients, and the use of my handy mortar and pestle, I was able to get it just right.
Below, you’ll find the original video that I watched over and over again, to conquer this recipe. Following that, is the recipe with some of my notes and observations. It’s much easier than you think. You just need some of the right tools.
I recommend prepping all ingredients before any cooking takes place. Carbonara is a recipe where the stove requires all your attention once the ingredients come together!
let’s get cooking
3 large egg yolks
1/4 cup of shredded parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
5.5 oz good quality pancetta
2 tbsp whole pepper corns
200g spaghetti noodles
2 cloves of garlic
Extra virgin olive oil
1. Chop pancetta into small pieces, to insure that you get some in every bite. Place in a wide pan with your peeled whole garlic cloves. Do not turn on the heat yet.
2. In a small bowl, combine your egg yolks and parmesan. With a mortar and pestle, crush the pepper corns into as fine of a crumble as you can. Sift the crushed pepper to separate out the finest granules. Add 1/4-1/2 tsp of the sifted granules to the egg mixture. The finest granules are the most intensely flavored part of the pepper corn. This will give the pancetta and egg a really great kick of flavor.
3. Heat the pancetta and garlic on medium heat.
4. While that heats up, boil your spaghetti noodles according to package directions. Give it a good stir to avoid the pasta from sticking to itself.
5. Brown the pancetta, and make sure that the garlic perfumes the contents of the pan thoroughly.
6. When the spaghetti is done cooking, turn the heat off and take it off the hot burner. Give it a good stir so that the pasta doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot, but do not strain it or discard the water.
7. When the pancetta has browned nicely, remove the garlic cloves (they are delicious if you want to munch on them while you cook) and turn off the heat.
8. Use a pair of tongs to remove the pasta from the water. Splash in some of the water from the pasta pot into your pan of pancetta. Feel free to use a cup to add the water or do what we did below and pour a bit in straight from the pot. The water will keep your dish from burning and the heat from the noodles and water will keep your dish warm and cook the eggs you’re about to add in.
9. Wait until you no longer hear a sizzle on the pan. This is a sign that your pancetta is no longer cooking due to the moisture from the pasta and water. It’s now safe to pour in your egg mixture. If you had poured it in while you still heard a sizzle, you would have risked having a pan of scrambled eggs on pasta, which is not what we’re going for here.
10. The mixture will get creamier as you mix in the egg. Make sure all elements are well incorporated on the pan. The dish is instantly ready at this point. Plate quickly and serve topped with ground pepper and parmesan cheese!
This dish is excellent with a glass of white wine. Our bottle that evening was from our friends Mike and Carl. In many ways, it inspired us to make this recipe.
While the process of making carbonara sounds a bit tedious, once you make it a couple of times and know what to look and listen for in the recipe, it becomes second nature. Then it’s a luxurious and delicious dish you can make at the drop of a hat. Of all the ingredients involved, the only one Steven and I don’t keep around the house is the pancetta. So if your pantry and fridge is stocked similarly to ours, as long as you manage to pick some pancetta up at your local meat market or deli, you’re all set for a night of elegant comfort food.
I hope you enjoyed this recipe post. There’s way more where this came from. Until next time!