Spaghetti a la carbonara

This is a traditional Italian dish from Lazio in the south of Italy. It is simple and easy to make. This is very convenient if you happen to have cooked ham left over from dinner the day before; no need to sauté it on the pan if this is the case. Simply warm the ham and add with the cream and other ingredients for a super quick dish. I like to add mushrooms for variety but you may choose to omit them. For a low GI diet you can substitute milk for cream.


200g (8oz ) spaghetti

0.25 cup cream

2 eggs

200g (8oz ) bacon, cut into slivers

12-14 button mushrooms (optional )

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp chopped Italian parsley

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

0.75 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese


1. Melt the butter and sauté the mushrooms in a pan. Remove and leave on a plate to add later.

2. Add the bacon to the pan and cook slowly over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Remove the bacon and drain on a paper towel.

3. Fill a large heavy-based saucepan with boiled water. Add one teaspoon salt and boil the water vigorously before throwing in the pasta. Cook for eight to 10 minutes depending on package instructions or until al dente, ie, still firm to the bite.

4. While the pasta cooks, combine the eggs, cheese, cream, and olive oil in a bowl and beat with a whisk until completely mixed.

5. Drain pasta, beat in the egg and cream mixture, then add the cooked bacon, mushrooms, and chopped parsley. Serve right away with additional grated parmesan and black pepper.

Serve with tossed green salad and crusty bread. I like to make garlic bread using a baguette; you will need two teaspoons of finely chopped parsley, two cloves crushed garlic, and 50g butter blended together. Cut the baguette slantwise at 8cm intervals, just three quarters of the way down, so that it is still intact. Butter each section. Wrap the baguette in tinfoil and place in an oven at 200°C for 10 minutes until it is nice and warm and the butter is melted.

Mary E Coen

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