William Sitwell's Spaghetti Carbonara
As a student I had one great, staple dish that I cooked, indeed still cook. Spaghetti Carbonara sounds simple and dull but done well and it's magnificent.
The great thing about it is that even the most unfoodie of people might be able to find the ingredients somewhere in their kitchen. Pasta (doesn't have to be spaghetti, penne is just as good), bacon or ham, eggs and pepper.
The better the ingredients the better the dish, of course. A rich fresh egg, for example, adding a deeper flavour at the end as opposed to weak and tasteless battery ones.
If possible use smoked bacon or better still pancetta.
So to cook:
Boil your pasta. Meanwhile fry your pancetta or bacon (cut into pieces before cooking).
When pasta is nicely al dente add in the bacon then take off the heat and crack an egg (one egg per person) into it. Stir it in so it cooks a little from the warmth of the pasta and bacon. Then add some freshly grated parmesan and some pepper stir and serve on a hot plate with a green or tomato salad.
When on the plate add more parmesan.
Poor a big fat glass of red wine and have some crunchy baguette to hand. Switch on the telly and guzzle
While written with William's characteristic wit and elegance this is a bit short on quantities! I'd say 100-125g of spaghetti or penne, 2-3 rashers of bacon or 75g of pancetta and a large egg FB
William is editor of Waitrose Food Illustrated and writes for the Evening Standard.