3 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces pancetta, cut into strips
4 fresh egg yolks (use only very fresh eggs)
4 tabelspoons grated Parmesan cheese
freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Heat the olive oil inlarge frying pan.
Add the pancetta and fry until it is browned but not to crisp. Set aside.
Place the egg yolks and cheese in a large serving bowl, together with a generous grinding of black pepper. Mix well with a fork.
Drain the pasta and add immediately to the cheese-and-egg mixture.
Add the pancetta and parsley, toss thoroughly until all is well mixed and cream.
NOTES A splash of cream can be added to the egg mixture for an extra-creamy effect. This dish does contain raw egg, which is only slightly cooked by the heat of the pasta, so should thus be avoided by those who are not comfortable with eating raw egg with its associated risks.
EGG-FREE CARBONARA + ANYTHING
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 garlic clove, thinly sliced
1/2 pound artichoke pieces in olive oil, drained and roughly chopped
1/2 pound mascarpone cheese
1 cup heavy cream
flaky salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated zest of 2 lemons
handful of chopped fresh mint or flat-leaf parsley
Heat the oil in a pan over low heat and add the garlic
As the garlic begins to color, add the artichoke pieces, mascarpone and cream.
Cook over low heat until slightly reduced and creamy.
Season with salt, freshly grated lemon zest and plenty of black pepper.
Sprinkle with chopped herbs.
Artichoke pieces can be replaced with 1/2 pound of any thinly sliced vegetables like zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms or asparagus. Experiment by adding an extra handful of fresh herbs with the parsley. Try tarragon with mushrooms, mint with zucchini and artichoke. For added umami depth, try adding 3 ounces of freshly chopped proscuitto when heating the garlic, then proceed as above, adding artichoke or other vegetables and serve with Parmesan cheese.