Lazy Weeknight Carbonara with Bacon Thecha

Serves 1

25 minutes

Ingredients

  1. One (or two) fresh eggs – doesn’t have to be the good stuff, just has to be fresh, check if it floats in water before using
  2. Hard cheese (preferably parmesan), about 100 grams – it needs to be grated fine
  3. Thick, egg-based noodles of your choice, flat or thin, preferably Spaghetti – 100g, sure, but for a single serving, grab a handful of spaghetti and if you can close your fist without breaking the spaghetti, that should be enough
  4. A tablespoon of Nomad Bacon Thecha
  5. Olive oil – 1 tablespoon
  6. Garlic – 3 cloves
  7. Green chilli – just the one, but add more if you want more spice

Steps

The Lazy Weeknight Carbonara is 50% fat and 50% carbs which all come together as a warm hug in a bowl. The best part is that each component of the dish takes enough time on its own that you can take your time with prep

  1. To begin with, take a good tablespoon of Nomad Bacon Thecha and add it to a cold pan. Drizzle over about a tablespoon of oil. Turn on the heat and keep it at a bare simmer. A good amount of fat will render out of the thecha and that is key.

  2. While it’s coming to heat, slice up a green chilli into rounds and slice up three cloves of garlic. By the time your done, there should be a decent amount of oil in the pan by now. Stir up the thecha to disperse it and toss in the garlic
    Pay close attention to the garlic at this stage, we do not want it to start bubbling in the oil, the oil just needs to catch the flavour of the garlic.
  3. In the meantime, place another wide, round pan on another burner and add in about two cups of water. Toss in a sprinkle of salt as well and stir. Let it come up to a boil.
  4. While it comes up to a boil, turn your attention back to the garlic. A couple of minutes should have passed and the garlic should be a bit clear and as much fat as we need would have rendered out of the thecha. You can turn off the heat now and toss in the green chili.

    The goal isn’t too cook the garlic or the chili through, we just need the oil to catch their flavour. Leave it alone for a bit so it can cool.
  5. By now the pasta water should have come to a boil, courtesy of the wide, open pan. Toss in a handful of past and let it cook. Keep checking on the pasta to see if it’s done to your liking.
  6. While the pasta’s boiling, start grating some of your parmesan (or hard cheese of your choice) into a bowl.

    Your wrist’s gonna hurt, but that just means you’re on the right track. Once you’ve reduced the whole stick of parmesan to a fluffy pile of snow, crack in a whole egg. Add in an extra yolk if you want to make the final sauce even thicker (recommended for hangovers).

    Add in some pepper powder, freshly ground or otherwise and stir it with a fork until you get an eggy paste.
  7. By now, the pasta should be almost cooked through. If it’s still raw or gummy in the centre, give it another minute or so. But just as it’s on the edge of being cooked completely, turn the heat down to low to keep the pasta water simmering, and shift your pasta without the water into the pan containing the oil, chili, garlic and Bacon Thecha.
  8. Give it a quick mix, but don’t waste time, we need the residual heat from the pasta for the next step. Do not, under any circumstance, turn on the heat under this pan.

    Shift the egg paste into the hot pasta and stir vigorously. If the mixture gets too dry or loses some heat, toss in a tablespoon of simmering pasta water. Keep stirring the mixture until you see the sauce become thick and creamy. If it coats the back of a spoon, you’re done.

And so you have it, a warm bowl weeknight carbonara, preferably eaten straight from the pan you cooked it in, and eaten on a rainy night in pyjamas and a hoodie. Company optional, but always welcome. Enjoy.