Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. This year, forgo the hassle of making restaurant reservations by making this decadent yet affordable spaghetti dish for your Valentine.
If you plan to cook this dish for a someone else, then it is recommended that you practice this dish just a couple of times before serving. The reason is that you don’t want to end up scrambling the egg mixture, rather you want the eggs mixed into the pasta just enough to give the dish the creamy consistency that this dish is known for! You can make this dish in any size kitchen and your Valentine will love it. Just remember two things that will aid you immensely – prep your ingredients and move quickly!
12 oz. or ¾ of a 16 oz. package of spaghetti
3 oz of diced pancetta OR 3 strips of diced bacon
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 clove minced garlic (can also use a garlic press)
1/3 Cup grated Parmesan cheese; also have some on hand for garnish
2 large eggs (1 per serving)
2 egg yolks
Fresh flat or Italian parsley or Basil
Salt & pepper
Chopsticks or tongs
Large bowl (preferably stainless steel)
Prepping all of your ingredients before you start cooking is really important for this dish! That’s because it’s going to cook quickly. Here’s a run-down of the best way to make sure all of your ingredients are prepped and ready to go so you can make this romantic dish with ease.
- Chop pancetta or bacon and set aside Mince garlic or press a clove into a bowl and set aside.
- Crack two eggs in a bowl and separate the yolks from the whites. Discard the yolks. Then, add one more egg to the egg white mixture, include the yolk and whites from the third egg. Add ⅓ of parmesan cheese, a pinch of salt, a generous pinch of black pepper (to taste, but don’t be shy! The black pepper is meant to cut the creamy saltiness of the rest of this dish.), 1 clove of minced garlic (if using a garlic press, press the clove directly into the mixture), and whisk until smooth. Set the egg mixture aside.
- Fill a large bowl with very hot water. Set aside.
- Boil a pot of water for the pasta.
- While the water is boiling, heat up 1 tablespoon of oil in the skillet on medium heat. Add the diced pancetta or diced bacon to the pan. Cook the bacon or pancetta until the fat has rendered and the bits are browned and crispy. Take the skillet off the heat and set aside. Don’t drain the grease from this step!
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package.
- When the pasta is just about cooked. Grab a cup of the pasta water and set it aside before draining the pasta.
- Dump out the hot water from the bowl (see step 3) and put the drained pasta in the hot bowl. Add the egg/parmesan cheese mixture and mix the pasta and the egg mixture with the tongs. Add a little bit of the saved pasta water to give the pasta a creamier consistency. Don’t add all of the saved pasta water though – you don’t want watery carbonara!
- Serve the pasta hot with some parmesan cheese and fresh parsley or basil on top. Bon Appetit!
Did you make spaghetti carbonara for your valentine? What’s your trick for the best carbonara?