Being adverse to mushrooms for most of my life, the sheer mention of the words Spaghetti Carbonara but the fear of god into me. What should be a lovely creamy dish, periodically came out to our dinner table and it would take as long to pick the little buggers out as it would to eat the food I actually wanted, not to mention the guilt of leaving a pile of mushrooms in the corner of my plate when eating at friends houses.
However, in recent months, I have discovered that the true Carbonara doesn’t even contain a sniff of a mushroom. So where did this come from? Who thought it was a good idea to ruin this ever-so-simple classic dish? Probably the same person who decided it was a good idea to put an egg on a pizza – NO!
This recipe for the perfect Spaghetti Carbonara comes from Olive’s food director, Lulu Grimes and will guarantee you are cooking and eating it the way it was meant to be enjoyed – without mushrooms…
100g pancetta lardons
1 clove garlic, halved
100g parmesan or pecorino
Cook the pasta in salted water until about 2 minutes before the packet says it will be ready (usually about 12 minutes)
Put the pancetta into a frying pan and bring slowly up to a high heat. Once some of the fat has melted out, add a knob of butter and the garlic and turn the pan down. Fry until the pancetta is brown then fish out the garlic and discard.
Beat the eggs with most of the cheese.
As soon as the pasta is ready (al dente), drain it reserving a bit of the cooking water and tip back into its pan. Add the egg mixture and pancetta and quickly toss everything together before serving with the remaining cheese and plenty of black pepper.
And for my vegetarian friends: Replace the pancetta with grated courgette and snipped chives or peas and wilted rocket.