Traditional Penne alla Carbonara
Penne is the traditional pasta to use when making this carbonara dish. It holds the sauce perfectly in the ridges and inside. Carbonara isn't as hard to make at home as you might think, it's actually very easy. This is one of my favorite quick dinners - it's so delicious.
- penne rigate - 1 pound (500 g)
- eggs - 4 large
- heavy cream - 1/2 cup
- parmesan cheese - 1 cup, finely grated, separated
- salt - to taste
- butter - 1 tbsp
- olive oil - 1 tbsp
- bacon - 1/2 pound, thick cut or pancetta, cut into pieces
- basil - a small handfull, shredded
- black pepper - to taste, freshly cracked
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for the pasta. (while the water is heating up, you can start preparing the bacon and the eggs.)
- When the pasta water has begun to boil, cook it until al dente.
- Whisk the eggs, cream and 1/2 of the Parmesan together in a small bowl, add some salt, then set aside.
- Melt the butter and olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the bacon and cook until it is browned and beginning to turn crisp, then use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel, reserving the fat in the pan.
- When the pasta is ready, drain it, reserving some of the pasta water (about 1/2 a cup). Do not rinse the pasta.
- In the pasta pot, above a high heat, put about 2 tbsp of the pasta water and 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Add the drained pasta and toss together well, then remove from heat.
- Quickly pour the beaten eggs and bacon over the pasta, and toss together quickly and evenly for about 1 minute - until the sauce begins thickens. (if the sauce is too thick, just slowly add a bit more of the pasta water)
- Serve immediately with a lot of cracked pepper, and garnish with remaining Parmesan and basil leaves.