Oh, okay, i'm going to bite...while all of the above sound simply perfect, to me, carbonara is the dish that gives the best ratio
of taste:effort imaginable. So i cook it when i've worked late at the office
and need something awesome in less than 15 minutes. And it's still good enough to serve at a dinner party
if need be...
Before i begin, i can't stress enough the importance of using good quality pasta. I'm not talking paying through the nose for supermarket 'fresh' pasta
, which tastes like foam rubber
- go to your nearest delicatessen
and buy some proper Italian dried pasta - expect to pay a quid per packet, which won't break the bank, but is at least double the price of normal supermarket pasta. You'll notice the difference.
Put your pasta in to boil - it should take about 11 or 12 minutes. As soon as it's in, take three rashers of smoked back bacon
(or six of streaky
) per person (pancetta
is obviously better but it's difficult to get hold of the proper stuff over here), and dice them.
Fry your bacon off in a tiny bit of olive oil
, crisping it nicely. Meanwhile, whip up two eggs per person and add a good couple of tablespoons of creme fraiche
per person. Whisk together.
Crush a clove or two of garlic
depending on taste (i use 3) into the bacon and stir well. With two minutes left on the clock, pour in half a glass of dry white wine
and reduce by two-thirds.
Drain the pasta and return to the hot pan. Combine the bacon/wine/garlic in the pan with the pasta and the egg/cream mix and stir over a low heat until the sauce is warmed through, but not scrambled egg
. Throw on some fresh basil
and cracked black pepper and serve with freshly-grated Parmesan
15 minutes well spent, i'd say.