This was originally inspired by a Jamie Oliver recipe but I've made it so many times I don't really know how much is his original and how much is just what I throw together. Either which way, this is a firm family favourite enjoyed as much by my 2 year old as it is by me.
It's hard to give ingredient amounts for this recipe as it really does depend on what you have in your fridge and how many people you're cooking for. I tend to be quite heavy on the vegetables so I end up with a plate that is 1/2 and 1/2 of vegetables and pasta but whatever works for you. The amounts listed below give me enough for 2 adults, 2 children plus enough left over to feed a small army (if you are planning on keeping some for leftovers I recommend putting it to one side before adding the egg mixture and either eating it for lunch the next day as a vegetable pasta or reheating it and adding the egg mix at the time of cooking).
250g Penne Rigato
a packet of Unsmoked lardons
a packet of Asparagus
4 handfuls of Pecorino
4 Egg yolks (As a guide I use one yolk per person)
Drop of milk
Salt and Pepper
Boil a large pan of salted water and cook your pasta as per the instructions. I learnt a long time ago from an Italian friend that your saucepan must be as big as possible and you should put more salt in the water than any British person would deem appropriate. I have keenly followed this advice ever since and it hasn’t failed me yet.
Chop your asparagus and courgettes so they are a similar shape to the Rigato pasta. This is definitely a Jamie Oliver influence which I fully embrace, not least as it seems to confuse my otherwise intelligent children who then aren’t sure whether they're eating pasta or filthy greens and just munch away regardless.
Fry the lardons in a small amount of olive oil and once they start to soften add the vegetables.
Whilst everything is cooking make up the carbonara mix. Grate a large handful of Pecorino per egg yolk you're using, add to the egg yolks and give them a good whisk. Loosen slightly with some milk - you're looking for the consistency of thick batter.
Once your pasta has cooked transfer it to the still sizzling pan of fried lardons and veg. In reality I do this quickly with a slotted spoon which seems to also allow the perfect amount of the starchy, salty water into the dish but if you want to be more controlled drain off your pasta and reserve the water to add separately.
Take the pan off the heat and then stir in your egg mixture. Serve immediately with a generous scattering of chopped parsley.Back to Recipes