Pasta Carbonara, Deconstructed

While the ingredients that make up this pasta are deceptively simple, the flavours are anything but. It's not surprising that it all works together so harmoniously; the egg+cheese+bacon combination is classic, after all.

Here, the salty porkiness of the pancetta is brightened by aromatic garlic and gentle heat of chili flakes. Echoing another classic, asparagus spears served with a soft boiled egg for dipping, the pasta is dressed with a fried egg with a runny yolk. The silkiness of the egg yolk brings everything together so well that you don't even need to make a sauce!

Pancetta is salt cured and spiced pork belly. It's like an Italian bacon. I prefer its flavour over the smokier streaky bacon for this use, but whatever you have on hand is fine.

This is perfect as a lunch you can whip up from ingredients you keep in the pantry. Ten minutes is all that's needed for deliciously satisfying "fast food."

Pasta Carbonara, Deconstructed
Serves 4

1 lb dried spaghetti or cappellini
4 1/2cm thick slices of pancetta, cut into small cubes
1 teaspoon of chili flakes
3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmigiano reggiano cheese, to serve

Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to the time on the package (until al dente).

Drizzle 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a frying pan to help render the fat from the pancetta. Add chili flakes. Fry pancetta until it begins to brown and crisp and add garlic. Continue cooking until garlic is very lightly browned. Do not overcook or the garlic will become bitter.

Toss the drained spaghetti with the pancetta, adding pasta water to help moisten the pasta. Add salt and cracked pepper to taste. Plate the pasta.

Fry the eggs with a little olive oil until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Top each plate of pasta with a fried egg, a sprinkling of sea salt and parmesan shavings.

Break the yolk and toss with the pasta before digging in.

Recipe and image property of beetsandbites

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