I’ve been reading the ‘Hairy Dieters’ trilogy of recipe books recently. While I’m not in a position to write a full review of them, I can at least make a post that is in the spirit of those books. Therefore, this week’s post will be my dad’s recipe for pasta carbonara.
I’m very used to carbonara made this way, so much so that I was actually surprised to find out that the authentic Italian dish contains a considerable quantity of cream and no onion. This version is considerably less calorific and just as tasty.
Serves 2 (using quantities as shown)
- 4oz/114g pasta (2oz per person — spaghetti, fusilli or trotolle seem to work best)
- 1 tbsp sunflower oil
- 1 onion (red or white, depending on aesthetic preference)
- 2 to 4 rashers back bacon (the leaner the better)
- 1 large egg or 2 small/medium eggs
- 2oz to 4oz/57g to 114g low-fat yoghurt or crème fraiche (optional — use only if you’re desperate to have that creamy sauce)
- minced/chopped garlic or garlic paste (optional)
- herbs, various (optional)
- pepper, to garnish (optional)
- 2oz/57g grated cheddar or parmesan, to garnish (optional)
- Peel and chop the onion. Put the oil in a saucepan, heat until it starts sizzling, then throw in the chopped onion, plus the garlic and/or herbs (if using). Sauté the onion gently until it becomes soft, stirring occasionally.
- While the onion is cooking, cut the bacon into pieces. Add the bacon pieces to the onion and stir gently. Cook until the bacon is done. Remove from the heat and keep warm.
- Fill a large saucepan with water and bring to the boil. Throw in the pasta and cook according to the packet instructions until it is done to your preferred degree of firmness.
- Only do this step if you are using the crème fraiche/yoghurt. While the pasta is cooking, break the egg(s) into a jug or bowl and beat together with the crème fraiche/yoghurt until well combined.
- Once the pasta has finished cooking, drain and return it to the pan. Add the cooked bacon and onion, then, working quickly while everything is warm, break in the egg(s) (or add the egg-and-dairy mixture from step 4) and stir thoroughly until everything is well-combined. The egg should cook in the heat from the pasta, onion and bacon.
- Divide the pasta equally between two plates. Sprinkle 1 oz grated cheese over each plate, if desired. Grate over some pepper to taste, and serve immediately.