There are a few important things about pasta carbonara. First: don’t overcook it! It doesn’t matter which version you make, if you overcook the sauce it will be disgusting. By adding the sauce to the pasta off the heat, you will prevent this. Second: don’t add cream. This is not authentic. Third: don’t add any vegetables. No onion, no garlic, and certainly no peas or broccoli. And fourth: the pasta should always be spaghetti.
Well, I think the first thing is completely true, but the other three are debatable. If you ignore the ‘rules’, you will not have an authentic dish, but who said food should be authentic anyway? It should be delicious, and if possible, good for you as well! So this is my take on pasta carbonara, with cream and vegetables. I use broccoli, because it is one of my favourite vegetables, but peas would be nice as well.
Pasta carbonara with broccoli (2 servings)
175 g dry spaghetti or tagliatelle
1 head broccoli, in florets
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
150 g bacon, cubed
50 g parmesan + extra for serving
50 ml cream
salt and pepper
Cook the pasta in a lot of well salted water until al dente (time depends on the brand). Cook the broccoli until al dente.
Saute the bacon until it starts to brown, then add the onion and cook further until the bacon is nice and crisp, and the onion cooked. At the last minute, when it is almost there, add the garlic. If you add it earlier, it has the tendency to burn. Whisk the egg, parmesan and cream together, season with salt (you will only need a tiny amount) and pepper.
Reserve a bit of the cooking liquid of the pasta. Add the drained pasta and drained broccoli to the bacon and onions, mix. Take the pan of the heat and add the sauce. Stir and add a little of the cooking liquid of the pasta to make a nice, smooth sauce that coats everything. Scoop onto plate and grate a little extra parmesan cheese on it.