When there is no food in the house, I can usually dig up the ingredients for pasta carbonara. Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome, based on eggs, cheese (Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano), bacon or pancetta, and black pepper. Spaghetti is usually used as the pasta, however, fettuccine, rigatoni, or bucatini can also be used. The dish was created in the middle of the 20th century.
Carbonara is one of the few things that everyone in the family eats – even my daughter Grace! Because we had no bacon (can you even imagine?!) my husband made this carbonara using sausage. It worked! You can also throw in some frozen peas (Grace picks them out!).
4 Italian sausages, cooked and crumbled, casings removed
1 lb pasta
1/2 oz heavy cream
3 1/2 oz freshly grated Parmesan
1 lemon, zested
Sprig fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Extra-virgin olive oil
Sauté the sausage until golden brown all over. While this is cooking, bring a pan of salted water to the boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the packet instructions.
In a large bowl, whip up the eggs, cream, half the Parmesan, the lemon zest and parsley.
When the pasta is cooked, drain it in a colander, reserving a little of the cooking water, and immediately toss it quickly with the egg mixture back in the pasta pan. Add the hot sausage and toss everything together. The egg will cook delicately from the heat of the pasta, just enough for it to thicken and not scramble. The sauce should be smooth and silky. Sprinkle over the rest of the Parmesan, season, if necessary, with the salt and pepper, and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.