I received complaints from my daughters and son-in-law who use the website to find my recipes, that this one was not posted…so apologies to my readers who prefer a true “gourmet” approach. I have avoided using the Italian name for a dish of this type because it is NOT a traditional “Pasta alla Carbonara.” It does not use any eggs—not even the raw egg yolk that characterizes the famous dish. No, it is something simple I cooked up one Sunday night for the family with what I had on hand, and they liked it so much that it became a staple for us. I make it when I want something fast and easy. Serves four.
1 pound pasta (tagliatelle, fettuccini, spaghetti or rigatoni)
1 tablespoon olive oil or unsalted butter
½ pound pancetta or thick-cut bacon (or a half pound of each), diced
1 large or 2 small onions, peeled and sliced
1 cup cremè fraîche (or cream)
1 cup grated Parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 tablespoon Fresh parsley, chopped
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian, al dente.) Drain the pasta well, reserving ½ cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce. While the water is coming to a boil, heat the olive oil in a very large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the bacon or pancetta and cook slowly for two- to three minutes. Add the onion slices and cook another couple of minutes. Then add the ½ cup of the starchy pasta water. Mix and add the cream. Mix and set aside. Add the drained pasta and mix well. Plate and sprinkle with cheese and chopped parsley. Serve at once with the rest of the Parmesan and freshly ground black pepper.