Easy Pasta Carbonara

Easy Pasta Carbonara

I’m not sure which is my favorite, Mexican or Italian food, but the two are definitely neck and neck.  And with Italian food, I can’t help but indulge in those rich, creamy and oh so fattening sauces.  When I was looking for a quick and easy recipe that satisfied my need for sauce, I came across our favorite TV Italian cook, Giada De Laurentiis.  Don’t get me wrong, I love Mario Batali as well but his dishes are entirely too involved and complex.

So for years now, I’ve been using Giada’s recipe for pasta carbonara.  It’s got the creamy element I was looking for as well as yummy, salty pancetta.  When I looked back at the recipe to write this entry, I realized I simplified this recipe even more, without knowing it.   The recipe is so easy I just have always made it from memory adding and subtracting ingredients each time.  So, gone are the nuts and instead of pancetta I’ve used bacon, Benton’s bacon to be exact.  I’ll explain later why Benton’s bacon is king.


1 egg yolk
1 cup half and half
3 leaves or more of basil
½ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
2 strips of bacon
1 garlic clove
1 shallot
some pasta (I used fettuccine)
mushrooms (optional)
salt and pepper to taste

1.  Start by adding your pasta to some boiling water.
2.  As the pasta cooks, chop the bacon into small strips and fry until crisp.  Remove bacon but keep most of the bacon grease.
3.  Add chopped garlic, shallots and mushrooms (if you’re using mushrooms) to the pan and sauté.
4.  While your vegetables are sautéing, in a separate bowl mix half and half, yolk, cheese, basil and seasonings.
5.  Once pasta is done and veggies are cooked add pasta to the frying pan.  Don’t worry if some pasta water goes into your pan.  That will make the sauce thicker.
6.  Next, turn burner to low heat and add your cream mixture.  Constantly stir your dish as you do not want your eggs to scramble.  You may need to turn your burner off.   It will take approximately 5 minutes or so for cream to thicken.
7.  Lastly, put that pasta onto a plate, top it with bacon, parmesan and enjoy!