Monday, April 12, 2010

A new way to make carbonara

When I was a kid, I always hung around the kitchen. When Mom was baking a cake, I was there waiting to lick the bowl - before my sister got there - and I would chat with my mom asking her a million questions about everything under the sun...needless to say I was kicked out a fair amount.

Little did I know that I was also learning to cook. I would sit at the bar (jabbering away) and she would be cooking on the other side. As an adult, I've always liked going to restaurants with open kitchens and watching what they are doing and learning new techniques and dishes. I was definitely hanging around Jess' kitchen while she was making the guacamole.

So there is this Italian restaurant called Vapiano's, it's a chain operated by a German company I believe and there was a location in Den Haag that I used to go to when I lived there and there are also a few in the DC area. Vapiano's has an open kitchen and they cook pasta dished in front of you. I almost always order spaghetti carbonara.

So I've made cabonara at home too, several times but the recipe I used was sort of hit and miss, it was better from Vapiano's. Plus what they were doing was simpler! I was mixing egg and cream and pouring it on hot pasta, mixing it quickly to cook the sauce. Sometimes it was really tasty and other times I ended up with pasta and scrambled eggs.

After watching the chef's at Vapiano's make my carbonara about 10 times, I thought I can do this, I'm gonna try it and if it doesn't work there is always a Lean Cuisine in the freezer.

Spaghetti Carbonara a la Vapiano's

1 serving of spaghetti/linguine pasta (cooked, hot)
1 1/2 cup cream
1 egg yoke
garlic, chopped
olive oil
chopped bacon
Parmesan cheese (optional)

Pour a small amount of olive oil in a small sauce pan and add chopped garlic and bacon. Cook garlic for about 1 minute until it becomes fragrant. Pour cream in sauce pan and cook on low-med heat until the cream boils around the edges, stirring frequently. Stir in egg yoke (can add additional spices here, basil ect). Reduce sauce, stirring frequently. When sauce reaches desired thickness, mix in pasta and serve. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

This recipe was so simple. I actually made this on a whim, I had some extra cream in the fridge from making cinnamon rolls and pasta and an egg are pretty easy to come by in my house. I actually skipped the bacon and just added a bit of salt because I did not have any around, so I guess mine wasn't really "carbonara."

I've always been really interested in what is going in my food so, I've always liked hanging out in kitchens to watch, but for anyone who likes to cook or wants to learn more, definitely watch every chance you get - never know where you will learn something new!

Taste: B+
Cost: A
Wast: A+ (single serving!)


  1. Hello,

    Your recipe sounds very nice.
    I sometimes go to Vapiano too and also order pasta carbonara. I live in the Netherlands so I don't have any idea how much 1 1/2 cup of cream is. Can you tell me how much ML it is? Thank you so much!

    1. Hi Jessica,

      I just to go to Vapiano's in Den Haag when I live in NL! Wonderful.

      Sorry for the slow response to your comment, 1 cup should be 1/4 of a liter (or pretty close).

      eet smaakelijk!


  2. I recently went to Vapiano also, but in Australia. I've been looking everywhere for this recipe, thank you!
    I just noticed that you left out that they add Parmesan to the cream also before adding the pasta and serving it!

  3. Also, Vapiano's use onions instead of garlic. They ask you if you want garlic and/or parmesan.