I made this Spaghetti Carbonara for one of the Singapore Home Cooks’ Challenges. This is one of my favourite pasta sauces although I am not a cream-based sauce fan. I am more of the liker for tomato based. When I cooked this sauce, I was pretty surprised that this is a rather easy sauce to make although it seems like a lot of ingredients in the list. If you scrutinise it, you will notice that the main ingredients are egg yolks and sour cream.

There are many varieties to the Carbonara sauce recipe and I picked it up from Edmonds Cookery Book which I bought in New Zealand. I didn’t follow exactly the recipe therein, instead I have modified. The taste turned out to be really close to that served in the Italian restaurants!

Some modifications and tips to share

1. I used back bacon instead of ham as the recipe calls for, as I find bacon is more tasty and aromatic compared to ham.

2. The bacon is pan-fried first, remove from the pan then I used the oil from the bacon to cook the mushrooms. This prevents over-cooking the bacon and makes it hard and dry.

3. Ensure the mushrooms are towel dry before pan fry them as mushrooms after frying will release water and you don’t need a greyish coloured or watery carbonara sauce.

4. Do not allow the sauce to boil. Just cook it on low heat, stir constantly until sauce thickens slightly, you may remove the sauce from heat.

This can be made gluten-free as long as you use the gluten-free pasta. Bon Appetit!


Tools

  • Measuring cup / scale
  • Pot

Ingredients

  • 200g of back bacon
  • 200g of mushrooms (any variety you prefer), sliced
  • 400g of pot sour cream (I used the lite sour cream)
  • 2 egg yolks (you can reduce to one but the sauce colour will be more whitish)
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of sea salt (you can add to 1.5 teaspoon if prefer a bit more saltish)
  • Dashes of pepper, to taste
  • 300g of pasta (spaghetti, fettucine, spirals, seashells, penne, whichever you prefer)
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley (chopped), for garnish
  • Some grated parmesan cheese, optional

Serving size: 4 plates of pasta

Directions

1. Boil some water to cook pasta. When water is boiling, add some olive oil and pinch of salt into the boiling water then add the pasta and cook till al dente.

2. Drain the pasta and toss them in some olive oil (you can use those for salad) to prevent the cooked pasta from sticking to one another and drying off. Set aside.

3. Heat olive oil in frying pan. Pan fry the back bacon till slightly brown. Remove from heat and cut to small pieces.

4. Use the same oil, sauté the sliced onion till almost clear then add the sliced mushrooms. Pan fry till mushrooms are cooked. Remove from heat.

spaghetti carbonara

5. Use a whisk, mix the sour cream and egg yolks well.

spaghetti carbonara

6. Heat the sour cream mixture under low heat and stir constantly.

7. When the sour cream mixture is slightly heated up, add the cooked bacon and mushroom and cook until the sauce thicken slightly or you notice some bubbles boiling. Remove from heat. Do not boil the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

spaghetti carbonara

8. Pour the hot sauce onto the cooked pasta. Stir to combine. Garnish with parsley and if you like, may add some grated parmesan cheese.

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