MTT: Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara

August 5, 2012

Spaghetti Carbonara

A couple of weeks ago I had one of those days. I took a trip to Nottingham, my first solo trip with two babies, for an appointment Elfie had with her specialists in the Genetics department at The Queens Medical Centre. The appointment was at 11am so I left our house in plenty of time at 8.30 but managed to be ten minutes late thanks to a detour back home to pick up my forgotten phone. It turned out that didn’t matter though as I had arrived at hospital a record-breaking 5 hours early; our appointment was at 4pm. OOPS. Initially I blamed this on putting the wrong appointment time in my diary, but no, it was there in black and white: 4pm. I guess this is where I blame my inbuilt fear of being late, otherwise I’d just have to blame plain old stupidity.

And so I had five hours to kill with two children in Nottingham. In the pouring rain. I sat by the front door of the hospital waiting for the rain to stop and feeding Elfie cucumber. In a flash of brilliance (a text suggestion from my mum) I called the appointment office to see if they could squeeze me in earlier. They could – 1.30pm! So I only had a couple of hours to kill, which I could do with lunch. Brilliant.


Pasta cooking

Thinking the rain wasn’t going to let up any time soon I decided to make a dash for the car park, which was a 4 minute stroll away. I reckoned if I put Elfie in the pram and Hux in the Baby Bjorn I could make it in 2. So we set off, and 30 seconds into our journey the rain turned from heavy to biblical. It was insane, like being in a shower. By the time I got to the car I was soaked through to my bra and my breast pads were so saturated that little gel crystals were falling out. Both kids were wringing wet and sobbing. I could have cried myself (OK, I did).

Frying off bacon

Back in the car I turned on the ignition, stripped us all and started hanging clothes strategically over warm blowers. After 15 minutes i realised that I wasn’t doing anything but steam up the car windows so I decided I’d have to put our damp clothes back on and buy some dry ones.

Having wasted so much time with my useless drying efforts there wasn’t time to head over to Outfit where I could have bought some things from TopShop, so I had to stop at Sainsburys instead, purchasing new outfits for all three of us (including the afore mentioned cringey babygros). Elfie got a fairly cute leopard print dress and I bought some blue linen shorts and a top in the sale as well as a new bra as mine was soaked. We got changed in the disabled toilet of the supermarket. Classy.

Eggs in a mug

We drove back to the hospital, Elfie eating a pack of Twiglets for her lunch. The appointment went really well, the consultants were delighted with Elfie’s progress and we found out she didn’t need an operation that was on the horizon, so we headed out to the car park happy. It was raining again  and yes, the same thing happened as we headed out to the car: the rain turned biblical as we were almost there. Luckily this time we were rescued by a kind woman with an umbrella who sheltered the children whilst I heaved all our crap into the car, they escaped unscathed but I was so wet I had to strip again and drove the 80 miles home in my underwear.

It’s these sorts of days that neccessitate stodge. Really good tasting stodge: I’m talking carbs, eggs, cheese. The type of food that will give you a big hug from the inside out and will warm you up when you’re cold to the core. This Cabonara is perfect for these days – it tastes amazing, is authentic (bar my choice of pasta) so you can pretend to be cultured with it and can be whipped up in 15 minutes. This recipe will make you forget about your crappy day and will leave you feeling happy, content and rubbing your belly. For me, it’s happiness in a saucepan.

Carbonara in progress

Spaghetti Carbonara

5.0 from 2 reviews
MTT: Authentic Spaghetti Cabonara
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
All ingredients listed below are per person, making this recipe really easy to scale up or down.
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 1
  • Small handfull of spaghetti (I like to use linguine which is slightly flatter)
  • 25g finely grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 rashers smoked bacon
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Fill a pan with boiled salted water and cook your spaghetti as per packet instructions.
  2. Chop your bacon into small pieces and cook with a little olive oil in a large frying pan - I like to use my Garlic Oil for this.
  3. Beat your eggs and season in a separate bowl or mug.
  4. As soon as your pasta is cooked strain it, reserving a little bit of the cooking water.
  5. Turn the heat off the bacon and add the pasta to the frying pan.
  6. Add the egg and parmesan to the pan and mix together well. Add a tablespoon or so of the cooking water to the pan to create a bit of a sauce and serve.


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  • Reply Hollie-Anne August 5, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    Carbonara has to be one of my favourite meals ever. It really is that any time of year food that instantly makes you feel better about life. I’m cooking bolognese tonight because I’m feeling crap and ill, there’s just something about pasta + meat + cheese that cures all.

    • Reply alice August 8, 2012 at 2:12 pm

      I HAVE to have it tonight now – I’ve been thinking about it ever since I posted this!!

  • Reply Jo Avery August 5, 2012 at 6:10 pm

    I was just thinking about your recipe for Cabonara the other day, I was in South of France eating one, with a raw egg in the middle, that you pour and stir yourself. The children had a taste and loved it, so thought, I must look up your Cabonara recipe when I get home. You’ve saved me the trouble! Thank you! Will do it this week xx

    • Reply alice August 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Let me know how it goes! I didn’t eat it when I was pregnant because I was a bit scared of the raw egg thing, am definitely making up for it now xx

  • Reply Steph (@imcountingufoz) August 5, 2012 at 9:55 pm

    That, Alice, looks utterly devine. How epic is carbonara!?!

    • Reply alice August 8, 2012 at 2:14 pm

      Epic cabonara is EPIIIC!

  • Reply Helen August 6, 2012 at 11:22 am

    Oh man, I’m really craving this now. Carbonara is my favourite, I always try it at new Italian restaurants as a test of the whole restaurant. I love it with spaghetti too, can’t abide a penne carbonara, it’s just not right.

    • Reply alice August 8, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      Linguine is my absolute fave for this – it’s a bit flatter so I think it gets a bit more egg on it. DELICIOUS!

  • Reply Hrynne August 6, 2012 at 5:31 pm

    wow, I had no idea how simple the ingredients were. I’m forever buying substandard supermarket tubs of carbonara and desperately trying to add some kind of flavour. Our comfort food is carbonara with chicken kiev
    cannot wait to try this out Thanks!

    • Reply alice August 8, 2012 at 2:16 pm

      Let me know how it goes! Until I researched ‘authentic’ cabonara I thought it had cream in, a la the M&S ready meal one. Was so surprised to find out that it didn’t!

  • Reply Helena August 6, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    A few years ago I was an exchange student in the UK and one of my housemates and good friends was Italian. That meant authentic spaghetti carbonara at least once a week :P

    Now I only make it on extra crappy days like you do, it really is great comfort food.

    • Reply alice August 8, 2012 at 2:17 pm

      I would love to try some cabonara made by a real italian – this is on my to-do list!

  • Reply vicki August 6, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    yum this looks so yummy! :) xo

  • Reply HonestMum August 8, 2012 at 8:41 am

    Wow looks mouth wateringly good-might just have to make this. Now!

    • Reply alice August 8, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      I’ve been thinking about this ever since I posted it, making it tonight!!

  • Reply Jo September 17, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    ok, I had a disaster. My eggs scrambled. Kids now eating boingy carbonara, husband refusing to touch it. Where did I go wrong?? When I added the raw egg on holiday it made the pasta silky, mine has gone dry and scrambly…Could weep. I am such a bad cook…

    • Reply alice September 18, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      I’ve been there too – the culprit will be a pan that’s a bit too hot. I’d suggest leaving the bacon pan to cool down for a couple of minutes before adding the pasta, cheese and egg. Hope that helps!

      (PS: when it happened to me my husband did eat it but moaned about scrambled eggs on pasta!!)

  • Reply Domestic Disgrace December 1, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    !5 minutes- sounds perfect! I should give this a go as my children love bacon and pasta! thank you for linking up :)

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