Although we love pasta and make many different pasta dishes on a weekly basis, carbonara is not something we eat too often. I absolutely love a good carbonara, when it’s done right, but it can be a very heavy dish, limited on vegetables (and we love our veg!). That being said, I love pasta dishes for the fact you can add whatever you wish to put your own spin on it. I’m sure Italians would cringe at this dish, as it’s not an authentic carbonara whatsoever. And I’m not trying to claim it is! By putting our own spin on it, we have altered the dish completely. However, the base is very much a carbonara and follows a traditional recipe. We’ve just added a little grilled asparagus, cherry tomatoes and cup mushrooms, to help reach our five-a-day! Personally, I think the added vegetables added a nice touch to the dish. It helped bring a freshness and different textures to the meal. The crunch of the asparagus and the juice of the tomatoes, paired perfectly with the indulgent, creaminess of the cheesy carbonara sauce.
Ingredients (serves 2)
80g dried spaghetti
4 rashers of streaky bacon, cut into small cubes (we didn’t have pancetta)
3 medium free range egg yolks
40g parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
1 clove garlic, crushed but not chopped
8 asparagus tips
6 cup mushrooms, thinly sliced
12 cherry tomatoes
Salt and pepper
1. Place the egg yolks in a bowl, with the finely grated parmesan, some salt and pepper, and whisk together with a fork. Set to one side.
2. Place the asparagus, tomatoes and mushrooms into a griddle pan with a drop of oil and fry on a medium heat until tender.
3. Add the garlic to another pan on a medium heat with a little oil. Make sure not to chop the garlic, it just needs to be crushed with the palm of your hand or the blade of a knife so that it releases its aroma. Leave to cook for 1 minute and then add the bacon (or pancetta if you have it). Fry until cooked so that it absorbs all of the garlic juice, then remove the piece of garlic.
4. Drain the spaghetti, reserving some of the cooking water. Add the spaghetti to the bacon and toss together well. Turn the heat down a little and add a splash of the cooking water, and season with salt and pepper. Then add in your egg yolk and parmesan mixture. Keeping stirring so that the egg doesn’t scramble. Add a drop more cooking water so that the spaghetti remains nice and glossy and so that the egg mixture doesn’t over thicken.
5. Serve everything together in a large bowl and sprinkle over a touch more parmesan.