It would be wrong of me to call this 'carbonara' but that was the inspiration for this recipe. It is pretty far removed from the original but still retains that creamy deliciousness. Like all the best carbonara recipes (in my humble opinion), this might taste creamy but contains no cream so as the only dairy is from hard mature cheese, some lactose intolerance sufferers may be able to get their creamy pasta fix from this as a result. Definitely good enough for adults and enthusiastically devoured by my 2 year old.
This isn't one for babies though because the eggs are lightly cooked, make sure you use Lion eggs but still there is a small risk. Also the salt is a little high but fine for a toddler portion. The recipe below is for what I would call an 'average' adult appetite and a toddler bowl, it's not a huge bowlful but something about carbonara makes it pretty filling I think. Add more pasta though if you know you're really hungry.
Broccoli and Ham Pasta - serves 1 adult and 1 toddler
2 slices of cured ham or bacon. At a real nod to inauthenticity I used Black Forest Ham
1/2 tsp olive oil
1 clove of garlic, peeled but left whole
1 egg (if halving the recipe, use the egg yolk only)
30-35g, a generous 1oz extra mature, vintage (sharp) cheddar, parmesan or pecorino
1 tbsp cold water (if halving the recipe, still use 1 tbsp)
70g Dry spaghetti
70g Broccoli cut into small florets
Cook the spaghetti following pack instructions, 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the broccoli to the boiling water.
In the meantime, grate the cheese and mix with the egg and cold water. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the whole garlic clove with the ham or bacon until the bacon is cooked. Remove from the heat and remove the garlic clove.
When the pasta and broccoli are cooked, drain, reserving some of the cooking water and put the drained pasta and broccoli in with the ham. Mix then add the egg mix, mixing quickly, adding a bit of cooking water from the pasta if needed to make a sauce which clings to the other ingredients.
Serve. I cut up the spaghetti into short lengths for my son (he's not got the twirling thing down yet) but he absolutely loved this and ate his whole portion including all of the broccoli! It's amazing what a bit of cheese and ham can do...
All cooked in 10 minutes from start to end. Genius!
Make it Thrifty:
Use extra mature cheddar instead of parmesan
Buy the 'offcut' packs of 'cooking bacon' as they're really cheap
Use regular oil instead of olive oil or if using bacon, just dry fry it