When done properly, spaghetti carbonara really can be fantastic. A classic spaghetti alla Carbonara is basically just pasta, bacon and eggs. Dare I say it but I think my version is equally if not better than the traditional. I use pancetta and parmesan, instead of the traditional guanciale and pecorino. I also use onion, garlic and parsley for flavour, all three being totally untraditional. And to really piss off the Italians I use some white wine and cream to make a delicious sauce. In truth this dish isn’t spaghetti carbonara in any shape or form. However it is a delicious pasta dish which uses fantastic ingredients. So even if you were born and raised in Rome, you really can’t argue with this dish. Can you?
The key to this dish lies in the quality of the ingredients. All of the ingredients used are of top quality. From the amazing pancetta and parmesan bought in Sheridan’s cheesemonger in Galway city to the spaghetti I made with Italian 00″ pasta flour and free range eggs, this dish and its ingredients are extremely good.
The cooking of this dish is much less exceptional than the traditional (i.e it’s easy). Chunks of pancetta were browned with some softened onion and garlic before a splash of wine is added.
Then in goes a generous amount of cream and the whole lot gets bubbled down until reduced and delicious. To finish some chopped parsley, grated parmesan, black pepper and salt are all added.
This dish may well be fool proof but a small bit of love and care in preparing it is the difference between a good and delicious dish. From properly softened onions and garlic to a well reduced sauce all are important. It’s also critical to adjust the amount of parmesan, pepper and salt to your liking at the end to get a really delicious sauce.
Ingredients - Serves 3
300g spaghetti (see pasta recipe here)
2 tablespoon oil
1 onion, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, finely minced
200g pancetta, cut into lardons
100ml white wine
1 tablespoon parsley, finely chopped
Handful (30g) parmesan, grated
Salt & Pepper
- Sweat the onions and garlic in a pan with the oil until soft.
- Add the pancetta into the pan and brown all over.
- Add the white wine into the pan and reduce until the boozy smell has disappeared and the alcohol has been burned off.
- Add the cream and simmer for about 10 minutes. Finish the sauce with the parsley, parmesan, salt and pepper.
- Boil the pasta until al dente, drain and add into carbonara sauce. Cook for 1 or 2 minutes in sauce before serving.