Spaghetti carbonara

Tender wheat noodles slathered in a rich sauce made from egg yolks and pungent cheese.

Let me show you how easy it is to create the most luscious and wonderfully indulgent spaghetti carbonara. If you’re not much of a kitchen wizard: store-bought pasta is an option!

  • 3.5 hours (homemade pasta) – 15 minutes (store-bought pasta)
  • 2 servings

For the pasta you’ll need

400 grams of bread flour (approx. 1 ½ cups) OR

100 grams all-purpose flour and 100 grams durum wheat semolina mixed (approx. ¾ cup each)

2 medium-sized eggs

A pinch of salt

1200 ml of water (approx. 5 cups)

4 tablespoons of salt

2 tablespoons of olive oil

For the sauce you’ll need

2 medium-sized eggs

1 large shallot

2 tablespoons of olive oil

At least 2 slices of ham, bacon, pancetta or similar types of meat, or leave this out for a vegetarian version

A handful of grated parmesan, pecorino or similar types of hard cheese

A pinch of parsley

To make the pasta, mix flour with salt and make a mountain on a kneading board. Make a well in the middle and add the eggs. Carefully start mixing in the flour, from inside to out, until it has been fully incorporated. The dough will be pretty dry and tough to knead, so you will need all the muscles you have! When the dough is smooth, wrap in cling foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Now it’s time to roll out your dough as thin as possible! You can either use a pasta machine as in the photo or use a rolling pin. To make things easier, I usually divide the dough into 4-8 pieces and work with one piece at a time. Using a lot of flour in the process (to prevent the dough from sticking), I first flatten the dough piece with my hand and try to shape it in a rectangular shape. Then I roll it as thinly as I like using a rolling pin or pasta machine. When you are using a pasta machine, set to the widest setting first and run it through, then switch to a lower number and keep going until you end up at about setting No. 4.

After you have rolled your dough, you can either use the pasta machine again to create spaghetti or fold the thinly rolled out dough across the longest width carefully (with lots of flour in between) and cut into thin strips. Once you are done, make sure to toss the pasta in flour again and then either hang to dry on elevated chopsticks or spread out on a large baking sheet. It is best to let the pasta dry for about 1-2 hours before cooking it. After drying, you can freeze your pasta or store in an airtight container for a few days.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. While you are waiting for it to boil, chop the shallot and pancetta in small cubes. I like to prepare some chopped parsley as well. In a measuring cup, whisk the eggs and cheese together until well combined. Set sauce ingredients aside for now.

Once the water is boiling, add the salt and then the pasta. Careful! Since the pasta is fresh and not completely dried, it will cook much faster than store-bought pasta. The duration varies depending on the thickness of your pasta and what type of pasta you made (spaghetti will cook faster than wide tagliatelle pasta). I usually check after about 5 minutes. Once your pasta is done, drain the pasta and toss lightly in olive oil.

Heat a large/deep frying pan with olive oil and fry both the shallots and pancetta over medium to high heat. Reduce heat to low to low medium. Add the pasta and gently mix with the shallots and pancetta. Finally, add the egg/cheese mixture and gently keep on mixing until the consistency becomes thick and saucy. If you prefer a more cooked through version, you can keep on cooking until the eggs begin to curdle (but I do not recommend this). Add some parsley, if you want, and you’re done!

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