- 250g back bacon
- 150g parmesan
- 400g spaghetti
- 40g butter
- Splash of olive oil
- 5 eggs
- Nutmeg (optional)
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil on the stove. How salty? It should taste about as salty as sea water. Your water will boil faster with the lid on. I also usually boil half the water in the kettle to make things quicker. While the water is coming to the boil, prepare your bacon and cheese. Pull or snip any rind off the bacon before chopping it. Grate the cheese as finely as you can.
When the water is dancing madly, pour in your pasta and a glass of cold water. Stir the pasta a couple of times. This will stop it sticking. Bring the water back to the boil and then simmer gently until the spaghetti is cooked but still a little resistant to your bite. It shouldn’t crack when you bite into it but just take a little pressure to make it yield.
While the water is coming back to the boil, heat a frying pan with the butter and oil in it. When the pan is hot, add the bacon and fry until it is golden and crispy rather than overly brown and leathery.
While the bacon is cooking, whisk the eggs so they are broken up but not so much that they foam. Stir in the parmesan. Add a little grate of nutmeg here if you like it.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the frying pan to a sheet of paper towel. Keep the fats in the pan. Warm your dining plates or bowls. Call everyone to the table with some urgency as the timing is crucial. Your pasta will be ready now. Drain it but keep some of the cooking water (about a cup). Put a good splash (about 2 tablespoons) of this cooking water back into the pot along with a smaller splash of the fat (about 1 tablespoon) from the frying pan. Fling in the pasta and toss it for a minute over the flame. This will help the starches from the pasta water and the fat to emulsify. Turn off the heat. Pour in the egg and cheese mixture and the bacon. Stir through and watch how the sauce slowly starts to thicken and the strands of cheese melt.
Serve and eat immediately with a big twist of freshly ground black pepper on every plate. Overcook it and you end up with scrambled eggs pasta which is pretty horrid!