Spaghetti carbonara comes straight from Lazio, the region around Rome where the dish was first invented.
As one of the most famous Italian dishes, spaghetti carbonara has a reputation for being tricky to make – but it’s actually very easy and takes just 15 minutes to prep and cook. With just six ingredients, this spaghetti carbonara recipe uses salty pancetta, plenty of Parmesan and a clove of garlic to infuse the spaghetti with as much flavour as possible. Even in Italy, alternatives such as bacon lardons are regularly substituted for the pancetta as they’re easier to get hold of and cheaper. Fettuccine, rigatoni, linguine or bucatini are also regularly used instead of spaghetti for something a little different.
Don’t be tempted to add other ingredients to your carbonara, such as cream. This won’t prevent the pasta from being dry, as is a common worry. Instead, it will just make the dish heavier and more liquidated. If you find that your pasta is drier than you’d like, add more pasta water while cooking.
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- 175g spaghetti or linguine
- 65g diced pancetta, or smoked streaky bacon, snipped
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 egg, plus 2 yolks
- 25g Parmesan, grated
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