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Roy’s Carbonara


Usually, really good things happen when I visit my friend Roy in L.A. If I sit on his couch and impede his ability to carry about his daily activities for long enough, he will eventually come to understand that I do not plan on leaving until the magic happens. Which is exactly what happens when he goes into the kitchen with a few key ingredients and comes back out moments later with piping hot bowls of delectable soup and pasta or plates of fragrant, freshly baked cookies. Before I met him, I didn’t know that people like me could make food like that.

One dish of his I remembered fondly from this past summer is his carbonara. Hearty, tasty and satisfying, his carbonara haunted me all last week. I had a terrible craving for it, but, since we live in opposite ends of the state, I finally decided to put an end to the hankerings by trying to re-create the dish myself. Luckily for me, Roy had made a video of his carbonara magic, one that I’d end up studying fifty times over before finally trying my hand in the kitchen.

I am overwhelmingly surprised (bordering on shock) pleased to report that the carbonara was actually very, very good. So good, in fact, that Alan had three helpings of it. This is solid evidence of the goodness of the dish as when a dish is not so good, Alan will exclaim over-enthusiastically about the great merits of the dish and I will eat only the bits of garlic in whatever it is I have made. This time neither of us spoke, the aroma of bacon and parmesan overpowering any need for words.

And now for the good news! You, too, can make Roy’s carbonara. Here is his video on how to make it. (I absolutely love this video, by the way. And it was only after I had watched it for the 50th time that I learned from him that it is actually not really a video but a series of still photos — over 1200!)

If you are, like me, a better absorber of information through the written medium, here is his recipe written out with words and all:

A spot o’ heavy whipping cream
A touch o’ Italian parsley
6 cloves of garlic
10 strips of bacon
A smattering of peas
1 lb. of spaghetti
7 (depending on your hand size) handfuls of shredded parmesan
1.5 eggs

Chop Italian parsley finely and set aside. (I realized that I do not like the taste of this green garnish, but it is so pretty all mixed in to the dish that I couldn’t resist chopping up a few sprigs).
Also chop, and set aside, garlic and bacon. Place parmesan in a separate bowl. Cook the bacon until crispy, place cooked bacon on a paper towel’d plate. Reserve about a quarter of the bacon fat in the pan and saute garlic, bacon and peas. Beat the eggs in a small bowl and pour over parmesan cheese. Add a spot of cream and a dash of salt. Mix well. Boil spaghetti and drain well. Place the bacon, pea and garlic mixture in the pot and add pasta. Add salt and pepper and mix together. Stir in cheese mixture (make sure it is off the heat!) and salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and more parmesan. Enjoy!

Last modified: January 10, 2019