Ever since I can remember I have always been the biggest fan of spaghetti carbonara. There is something undeniably delicious and decadent about it, yet it is so simple to make at home that it should be a weekly staple! However, not many people actually realise that the majority of the spaghetti carbonara’s that you’ll find in restaurants/cafes etc are actually made incorrectly when compared to the original recipe. The traditional recipe doesn’t actually contain cream, which will likely surprise a lot of people, as we consider carbonara to be this ultra-creamy dish. However, traditional carbonara’s actually use eggs to thicken the sauce! For the purposes of this recipe though, I will be using the non-traditional method of adding cream, as it’s so easy and works every time… no scrambled egg spaghetti here!
One of the things you have to be wary of when cooking for little ones is the salt content of your food. The general guidance is that infants less than 12 months of age should have no more than 1g of salt per day, with this increasing up to 2g for children aged 1 to 3 years. This is not a lot, especially when you are preparing food for a child under 12 months. This recipe, however, is a perfect example of how to tailor your meals for the entire family, without compromising on flavour.
When looking at this meal you realise that all of the salt content comes from only two ingredients: bacon and parmesan. Usually you could consider just doing away with these two ingredients and serve the same meal to the entire family, however, these happen to be the ingredients with the best flavours so we’re not in a hurry to do that! Instead, what we’re going to do is cook the bacon separately in the oven and then add this at the end, along with the parmesan, after we have dished out the baby portion. That way we keep all of the flavour and prepare a low salt baby-friendly version of this classic at the same time, with this slight tweak only taking us an extra minute to prepare… no more cooking two separate meals anymore!
If you give this recipe a go then let me know how it turns out via the comments section, or follow me on instagram (@theblwdad) and tag me in your recreations.
Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic and for good reason. This version is simple, very quick to make and contains a hack to ensure it is baby-friendly, but also retains amazing flavour for the adult portions!
4 Rashers of Pancetta/Streaky Bacon
1 Tbsp Garlic Purée (2 Cloves Garlic)
100–150ml Double Cream
- Cook the spaghetti as per the packet instructions. Once cooked, drain and leave to one side.
- Place the pancetta/streaky bacon onto a baking tray and place into a pre-heated oven (200C/400F) for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through and slightly crisp.
- Chop the onion and sauté in a non-stick pan with olive oil for 3-4 minutes, until softened.
- Add the garlic and continue to sauté for a further 1 minute.
- Add the cooked spaghetti and mix thoroughly.
- In a jug mix the double cream and mascarpone, and then pour this mixture into the pan.
- Ensure the sauce has coated all of the spaghetti and then eave the pan on the heat for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened to your desired consistency. Feel free to add more cream if you think it needs it.
- At this point dish the children’s portion out and set to one side.
- Chop the bacon into small pieces and add to the pan, along with the parmesan.
- Mix thoroughly and then serve.
Suitable: From 6 months plus. Consider chopping the spaghetti slightly to make it easier to eat. Encourage infants from 9/10 months to use a fork.
Storage: Use on the day. Unsuitable for home freezing.