A true Italian carbonara does not actually have any cream in it at all, yet the sauce is creamy, coats the pasta and tastes delicious. Try it – you will be pleasantly surprised! A delicious alternative are strips of smoked salmon, which work surprisingly well.
Typical nutritional content (per portion)
500g (1lb 2oz) packet spaghetti
1 tablespoon olive oil
225g (8oz) rindless lean smoked back rashers, cut into strips
2 teaspoons garlic paste or 2 garlic cloves, crushed
3 large eggs
100g (4oz) freshly grated Parmesan
Freshly ground black pepper
Mixed green salad, to serve
Cook the spaghetti for 8 – 10 minutes or according to the instructions of on packet.
Meanwhile, heat the oil a large frying pan, then add the rashers to the oil and cook for 3 – 4 minutes until they are cooked through and have started to crisp. Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a bowl with most of the Parmesan, keeping a little to garnish, then season with plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
When the pasta is ready, turn the heat on low under the bacon to just warm through. Take out a mugful of the pasta cooking water and set aside.
Drain the pasta, and return it to the still hot pan. Add the egg and cheese mixture along with a splash of the pasta water from the mug. Toss well to combine, adding a little more pasta water if necessary – you should need somewhere between 50 – 120ml (2 – 4fl oz). The heat of the water and the pasta cooks the egg lightly but do not reheat or the eggs will scramble!
Fold the rashers into the pasta and divide among bowls then scatter the rest of the Parmesan over the top. Serve with a large bowl of the salad.