I love pasta and I'm always tempted to order carbonara whenever I go to an Italian restaurant even though I always leave half of it because it's too rich, and even though I know I can make it easily at home! I remember going to stay with a friend in the South of France and there was this restaurant where we always used to order carbonara, and on top of the thick creamy sauce, was an egg exploding with the rich yolk - it was delicious but only for about 2 or 3 mouthfuls. This recipe I prefer because it is much lighter, but can be too dry for some people so just make sure to add more double cream depending on the consistency you prefer. I also love that it is baked (al forno) in the oven because it means the top layer of spaghetti is crisp, as is the parmesan. I wish I had added a bacon breadcrumb topping because that would have made this dish!
(The photos above were taken before I baked it in the oven, sorry)
- 200g spaghetti pasta
- 4 rashers of smoked bacon, chopped
- 150g mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- knob of butter (for frying)
- 1/2 garlic clove, finely chopped or 1 tsp powdered garlic
- 1 egg, beaten
- double cream or crème fraiche (as much as you want to add)
- parmesan (as much as you want)
- handful of parsley, finely chopped
1. Boil the spaghetti in salted water, following cooking times on the packet.
2. Meanwhile, fry the bacon with the mushrooms, if using, in the butter and garlic.
3. Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain, and return to the pan, adding the bacon and mushroom.
4. Stir in the egg, double cream, half the parmesan and half the parsley. Season to taste.
5. Transfer the spaghetti to an oven proof dish, and sprinkle with the remains of the parsley and the parmesan. (This is where you can add a bacon crumb - chopped bacon fried with breadcrumbs).
6. Bake in the oven at 180c/gas mark 4 for about 20-30 minutes, or until the golden brown colour and crispiness you desire.
The basis for this recipe comes from my Comfort Food book which I love - every page is mouthwatering!