Pasta carbonara is a classic Italian dish that consists of pasta tossed with eggs, cheese, bacon, and black pepper. It’s a simple yet satisfying dish that can be whipped up in no time. Mary Berry, the beloved British cook and author, has her own version of pasta carbonara that is creamy, cheesy, and delicious. She uses crème fraîche instead of eggs to make the sauce and adds mushrooms and parsley for extra flavor and texture. This recipe serves 4 people and can be prepared in approximately 20 minutes.
In this article, I will show you how to make Mary Berry’s pasta carbonara step by step, with tips and tricks along the way.
What is Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara?
Mary Berry pasta carbonara is a variation of the traditional pasta carbonara that uses crème fraîche instead of eggs to make the sauce. Crème fraîche is a type of sour cream that has a higher fat content and a milder flavor than regular sour cream. It adds a rich and creamy texture to the pasta, without the risk of curdling or scrambling. Mary Berry also adds mushrooms and parsley to her pasta carbonara, which gives it a nice contrast of color and flavor. The bacon, cheese, and black pepper are still essential ingredients that make this dish a carbonara.
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Why You’ll Love This Recipe
You’ll love this recipe because:
- Simplicity and Speed: With minimal ingredients and a single pot, this dish comes together quickly, making it perfect for busy weeknights.
- Creamy and Flavorful: The combination of crème fraîche and cheese results in a luxuriously smooth sauce, complemented by the savory taste of bacon.
- Versatile: This recipe is adaptable to various pasta types and welcomes additional ingredients, allowing for customization based on preference or what’s on hand.
Ingredients Needed to Make Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara
To make Mary Berry pasta carbonara, you will need the following ingredients:
- 350 g (12 oz) of pasta of your choice
- 200 g (7 oz) of bacon, chopped
- 250 g (9 oz) of mushrooms, sliced
- 300 ml (10 fl oz) of crème fraîche
- 50 g (2 oz) of grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
Instructions to Make Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara Recipe
To make Mary Berry pasta carbonara, follow these steps:
What Do I Serve With Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara?
When planning your meal around Mary Berry’s pasta carbonara, consider these pairing suggestions to create a balanced and enjoyable dining experience:
- Fresh Green Salad: A salad of mixed greens with a dressing of extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice offers a light and refreshing contrast to the rich pasta. The crisp textures and bright flavors will cleanse the palate.
- Crusty Bread: Opt for slices of garlic bread or a loaf of ciabatta to accompany your pasta. These breads are perfect for soaking up any remaining sauce, ensuring you enjoy every last bit of flavor.
- White Wine Pairing: Enhance your meal with a glass of white wine. Varietals like Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay are excellent choices, as their acidity and fruit notes beautifully complement the creamy and savory aspects of the carbonara.
Expert Tips to Make Perfect Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara
Achieving the ideal balance of flavors and textures in Mary Berry’s pasta carbonara can be easily accomplished with these expert tips:
- Select Quality Ingredients: The foundation of a great carbonara lies in its ingredients. Opt for full-fat crème fraîche to achieve a rich, smooth sauce. While sour cream or Greek yogurt can substitute in a pinch, they may alter the sauce’s intended texture.
- Cheese Choices: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese is key for authentic flavor and seamless melting into the sauce. Although Pecorino Romano, Gruyère, or Cheddar can be used, each will impart a distinct taste.
- Pasta Perfection: Cook your pasta to an al dente finish to ensure it retains a slight bite. This not only improves the dish’s texture but also helps the pasta better absorb the creamy sauce.
- Utilize Pasta Water: Don’t forget to save some of the pasta cooking water. Its starchy composition is invaluable for adjusting the sauce’s consistency, helping to achieve that perfect, silky texture.
- Serve Immediately: To fully appreciate the dish’s creamy quality, serve it hot immediately after preparation. As it cools, the sauce may thicken and lose its smoothness.
Variations of Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara
How do I Store Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara Leftovers?
Proper storage of Mary Berry pasta carbonara leftovers ensures that you can enjoy this delicious dish even after the day it’s made.
Here’s how to keep it fresh and tasty:
- Cool Down: Allow the pasta carbonara to cool to room temperature before storing to prevent bacterial growth and condensation inside the container, which could make the pasta soggy.
- Airtight Storage: Transfer the cooled pasta into an airtight container or a heavy-duty ziplock bag to maintain freshness and prevent any fridge odors from affecting its flavor.
- Refrigeration or Freezing: You can refrigerate the pasta carbonara for up to 3 days. For longer storage, freeze it for up to 3 months. Both methods preserve the flavors and textures well.
- Labeling: Mark the container with the storage date and dish name. This helps manage leftovers efficiently and ensures you use them within safe consumption periods.
How do I Reheat Mary Berry Pasta Carbonara Leftovers?
Reheating pasta carbonara while retaining its creamy texture can be a bit of a challenge, but with the right technique, it’s entirely possible.
Here’s how to revive your dish:
- Thawing: If your pasta carbonara is frozen, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight. This gradual thawing helps maintain the dish’s integrity.
- Microwave Method: Place the pasta in a microwave-safe dish and lightly cover it with a damp paper towel. This helps reintroduce moisture, making the sauce creamy again. Heat for 2 to 3 minutes on medium power, stirring at the halfway point to ensure even warming. Adjust the timing based on your microwave’s strength and the amount of pasta.
- Stovetop Method: For a more evenly reheated dish, warm the pasta over medium-low heat in a skillet. Stirring occasionally, reintroduce moisture as needed by adding a little water, milk, or cream to loosen up the sauce without diluting its flavor. This method helps evenly distribute heat and rejuvenate the pasta’s creamy texture.
- Finishing Touches: Before serving, consider sprinkling additional grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley over the top to refresh the dish’s flavors and presentation.
Nutrition value (per serving):
- Calories: 667 kcal
- Fat: 38 g
- Carbohydrates: 57 g
- Protein: 27 g
- Sodium: 726 mg
- Cholesterol: 154 mg
Mary Berry pasta carbonara is a delicious and easy dish that you can make in less than 30 minutes, with just a few ingredients. It’s creamy, cheesy, and satisfying, perfect for a weeknight dinner or a special occasion. I hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make Mary Berry pasta carbonara step by step, with tips and tricks along the way. If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Thank you for reading and happy cooking!