There’s no cream in carbonara

There’s no cream in carbonara

Thank you weather god for this wonderful sunny Friday! I spend most of it in the garden resulting in me getting a very late start on New Food Friday. However, when I did finally make it to the kitchen I made a Spaghetti alla Carbonara and it was soooo delicious!!!!! Thomas and I saw this recipe on Dagelijkse Kost yesterday and I pinned it as soon as it came online (which was this morning). Together with this one, and this one, and this one.  So be ready for more recipes from Jeroen Meus in the coming weeks (OMG pulled pork – who’s coming for dinner?)

I am a big fan of Dagelijkse Kost: Meus is a great chef, has a very relaxed style of cooking and I love almost all his recipes. I even like the way he chops onions. In fact, I think you can judge a cooking show and it’s presenter by the way he or she chops their onions. Except maybe Nigella – even though I’m afraid for her fingers every time I see her chop anything I still love her shows.

Back to the dish of the day: I always thought that pasta alla carbonara was made with lots of cream in it and that it was a very heavy dish. Turns out it is not. The creaminess comes from the eggs and cheese that get added in the end. Another big flavor in the dish is the bacon. Bacon, eggs and cheese: this can only taste divine, right? In Meus’s recipe you add peas and broccoli, which probably isn’ t very traditional, but is does make it a lot more nutritious.

Here’s what I used:


  • bacon
  • peas
  • spaghetti (wholewheat)
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • nutmeg
  • eggs
  • brocolli
  • Parmesan cheese (Jeroen Meus uses pecorino, a hard cheese made of sheep’s milk but the supermarket I went to didn’t have any. Wikipedia said I could use Parmesan too. So there.)

I only used one of those packets of bacon because I discovered the other packet had been punctured and its contents had gone bad! UGH! You can see the difference in color between the good bacon and the bad bacon in the picture above. Luckily, I think I would have only used one anyway. I was making this recipe for two and 100 grams was more than enough.

I started by parboiling the broccoli. When they were done I rinsed them with cold water and set then aside.


I poured a little oil in a pot and added the bacon…

bacon in pot

…fried the bacon…

fry bacon

…and after five minutes or so I added the onion and garlic…

add onion and garlic

…cooked them until tender and then turned off the heat.

fry onion and garlic

Seriously, fried bacon, onion and garlic? I could have poured this over some cooked pasta and had been happy already. But I was following a recipe here so, in another pot, I brought water to the boil, added a good pinch of salt and then the pasta:


I cracked the eggs into a bowl and added nutmeg and pepper…

eggs, pepper and nutmeg



…grated in the Parmesan…


…and mixed again.


The pasta was juuuuust al dente when I drained it…


…keeping some of the cooking liquid aside.

cooking liquid

To finish the dish I turned the heat back up under the bacon mixture and added the peas…

add peas

…after a minute or so of stirring I added the pasta…

add pasta

…and some of the cooking liquid.

add cooking liquid

I stirred well to make sure all the lovely sticky bacony goodness on the bottom of the pot had deglazed, added the broccoli…

add broccoli

…and stirred some more, carefully.


Finally, I turned down the heat to very low and added the egg mixture…

add egg mixture

…a little more stirring and I was done!

mix carefully

All the good stuff was at the bottom of the pot now so I upended it on a pretty serving dish…


…bonus: this make your dinner table look a lot more fancy.

I think the candles helped too.


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