Conchiglie just means seashells in Italian. So if I wasn’t feeling so fanciful and wannabe-ish, I would have just titled it: Suanie’s Extremely Cheesy Shell Pasta Carbonara. I can’t even pronounce conchiglie, can you?
For a few reasons, I have plenty of grated parmesan in the fridge and some shell pasta in the pantry. Oohhh I have eggs too, love my eggs! I only had to go and buy 200g of streaky bacon, none of those back bacon business.
Carbonara is one of the easiest things to cook but slightly difficult to master. I’ve made it a few times just to get a hang of it but I’m definitely not a pro. Luckily I like to eat my own food even if they end up disastrous with a capital OMGWTFBBQ.
First to cook the pasta. Bring a pot of water to boil, then add a very generous amount of salt to the boiling water. This is to season your pasta so that it isn’t bland. If you have to watch your salt intake, you shouldn’t be eating carbonara in the first place.
Follow the cooking instructions at the back of the pasta packet. For my shell pasta, I cook it for about 10 mins. Spaghetti should be about 7 mins, penne (my no. 1 choice for carbonara) about 15 mins.
Time to cook the bacon! I heat up a frying pan them dump all my yummy bacon to fry. I leave it in the pan slightly longer because I like my bacon crispy.
Use a pair of tongs and scissors, cut the bacon to tiny bits. Or if you’re not anal like me, simply use a huge knife on a chopping board. Whatever works as long as you get this!
Don’t throw away the bacon grease, you’ll need it later for a greater purpose. Also, break 2 eggs and take out your grated parmesan. Do all this in a hurry because you need to finish taking all the photos just before your pasta is properly cooked.
Your pasta is cooked, right? Now you have to remove the pasta, drain the water and put the pasta back into the pot where you cooked it in. Quick quick because the pot is still hot!
Add the eggs and cheese to your pasta. Stir stir stir! Mix it well! The heat of the pasta will slightly cook the eggs. Don’t think too much about it because you might get icked out if you’re not accustomed to raw-ish eggs.
Add the bacon and bacon grease! Add more cheese! For this dish, I used about 120g of grated parmesan. That is a lot of cheese indeed. But it’s okay, else it wouldn’t be Suanie’s Extremely Cheesy Conchiglie Carbonara; it would only be Suanie’s Slightly Cheesy etc etc.
Stir stir stir. By this time your arms should feel sore because everything is so thick and sticky. The pasta, I mean. It’s ready when you think it’s ready lah. As you can see, I hardly provided measurements of any kinds because everything was done using a tried and tested method called: try your food as you’re cooking halfway to make sure you like it, add or decrease amount of condiments and ingredients as you deem fit.
Add some black pepper (which I forgot), add some chopped fresh parsley (which I didn’t have) then serve!
Eat it with some steamed vegetables so that when your Mom reads your blog and reprimands you on the high fat content of the food that you’ve been cooking for yourself, you’ll be able to honestly reply that you eat healthy stuff as well, like steamed vegetables…