Thursday, January 9, 2014

Spaghetti Carbonara with Fresh Homemade Thyme Pasta

Did anyone else get a pasta roller/cutter for Christmas?  I'm excited to say that Jamie got me the pasta attachment for my mixer, and we've been enjoying making a few batches of fresh pasta lately.

For our first pasta making adventure, I knew it would have to be spaghetti carbonara, which, in my opinion is one of the most fantastic of all pasta dishes.  It also happens to be one of the simplest to make, with an egg yolk, a little olive oil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese forming a creamy sauce that coats the pasta with the help of some of the cooking liquid, lots of freshly cracked black pepper, and crispy, salty crumbles of bacon or prosciutto.

I made a basic egg pasta dough with bits of fresh thyme, which added beautiful splashes of green color as well as beautiful flavor.  Working with the pasta dough was completely different from pie dough, shortbread dough, or bread dough, all of which I'm much more familiar with.  But I trusted that it would taste good, and I have to say, after tasting the fresh pasta, there's really no comparison to dried and store-bought.  Not to mention, penny for penny, the homemade dough is much cheaper as well, since flour and eggs are about as inexpensive an ingredient as there is.

After a successful pasta-making experience, I'm looking forward to trying more adventurous recipes.  But as simple as spaghetti carbonara is, the leftovers make a fantastic late night snack.

And seeing as how it was well after dark when we made this (I'm so over these 4:30 pm sunsets), and most of the photos were taken standing next to my mixer, please forgive the badly-lit photos in our kitchen.

One Year Ago:   A Cookie Monster Cake and Sesame Street Cupcakes
Two Years AgoThe Scent of Bread Baking on a Chilly Sunday

Basic Egg Pasta

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme or other herbs (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • water (4-6 tablespoons)

Combine the flour, salt and herbs on a clean workspace.  Make a well in the center; add the oil and eggs, and stir with a fork to start incorporating the dry ingredients into the eggs.  Add water, a tablespoon at a time, kneading the dough with your hands for 4-5 minutes, until it sticks together and becomes leathery and firm, but pliable.  Wrap in plastic wrap and let rest on the counter for 20 minutes.

After the dough rests, follow the instructions of your pasta roller/cutter to make your pasta, and then let dry for 10-15 minutes before cooking.  (The pasta can also be cut and then frozen (uncooked) in freezer bags.)

Yields about 1 pound fresh pasta

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen

Spaghetti Carbonara

  • 1 pound fresh or dried spaghetti
  • reserved water from cooking the pasta
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for garnish
  • cooked, crumbled bacon or prosciutto (4-5 pieces)
  • plenty of coarsely cracked black pepper
  • salt, if needed

Cook the pasta in salted water until al dente, and transfer to a large bowl, reserving the cooking water.  Add the beaten egg yolk, olive oil and about 1/4 cup cooking water to the pasta, and toss to combine.  Add the cheese, and a little more water as needed, continuing to toss until a creamy sauce forms and coats the pasta.  Add the bacon or prosciutto and lots of cracked black pepper.

Taste and add salt, if needed, but remember that the cheese and bacon will add salty flavor as well.  Garnish with more cheese, and even another cracked egg yolk on each serving, if you like.

Serve with salad and garlic bread.

Yields about 6 servings

Recipe from Curly Girl Kitchen


  1. I broke out my pasta roller attachment last night! put some meyer lemon zest in the pasta… I must admit the thyme studs the pasta much prettier than the zest!

    This looks so comforting, thanks for sharing!

  2. Wow, lemon zest in the pasta sounds amazing, too! I will have to try that.


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