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Toronto, Ontario


The portfolio of Adam Schoales, Toronto based video editor, geek, and tea drinker.

Carbonara for One (very hungry person)

Adam Schoales : : Blog

Thoughts, process, and other ramblings.


Carbonara for One (very hungry person)

Adam Schoales

I love carbonara. Haven’t found the perfect recipe yet though, especially if only making for one. So I asked on Twitter. Naturally someone came to the rescue (thanks Shane). This is my adaptation of their recipe. Now, it says it's for one, but I found it to be more like two regular servings (or one really big serving). That said, it's a much more reasonable amount to make than most other recipes I've found.

Carbonara for One (Very Hungry Person, or Two Normal People)

  1. Put on a pot of salter water to boil (use your biggest, non-pasta pot) and heat oil in medium frying pan (your Jamie Oliver with the high sides is a good Option)
  2. While water is heating, dice 2-4 (depending on size) cloves of garlic
  3. Dice half of an onion
  4. Grate lots of Parm
  5. Dice pancetta (4-5 slices)
  6. Sauté onion until soft and translucent
  7. Once onion has softened add garlic, and sauté until fragrant 
  8. Remove onion/garlic mixture to plate - at this point your water should hopefully be up to boil
  9. Add half a package of rigatoni to salted water and set timer (package said 12 minutes, I found 10 to be sufficient)
  10. While pasta is cooking add pancetta to pan used for onion/garlic, and sauté until crisp
  11. While pancetta is cooking, crack two egg yolks into a bowl (perhaps more/less depending on how big the eggs are), whisk gently with lots of black pepper, and add a whole whack of parmesan (yes, this is a scientific measurement)
  12. Mix egg/cheese together - it will likely form a thick paste - and reserve a cup of pasta water
  13. Once pancetta is cooked remove with slotted spoon reserving rendered fat in pan, and be sure to remove the pan from the heat, allowing the oil to cool slightly
  14. Once pasta is cooked, remove half of the pasta to your pan with the oil using slotted spoon (this will allow a little bit of pasta water to fall into the pan), and drain the rest of pasta in colander and add to pan
  15. Add onion/garlic/pancetta to the pan with pasta and stir to combine
  16. Add egg/cheese paste to pan with pasta, along with a splash of pasta water to help thin out the mixture (start with a little bit, so it doesn't get too runny) and stir to combine, until smooth and silky (adding more pasta water or cheese if needed)
  17. Grate extra black pepper
  18. Serve with lots of parmesan sprinkled on top