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plateful of spaghetti carbonara

Halloumi carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara with a twist! Swap the bacon out with the savoury, creamy halloumi and you've got yourself a silky and delicious halloumi carbonara. Meatless Monday meal, tick.
5 from 2 votes
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Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian, Western
Keyword: halloumi spaghetti carbonara
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 13 minutes
Total Time: 18 minutes
Servings: 3 people
Calories: 464kcal
Author: Genevieve

Ingredients

  • 200 g / 7oz dried spaghetti
  • 150 g / 5oz halloumi cheese cut into 1cm/½inch cubes
  • 1 egg
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese or pecorino romano, freshly grated
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  • Cook pasta according to packet instructions, till al dente. (note 1) Remember to season the water with salt.
  • Whilst pasta is cooking, combine parmesan cheese and egg in a bowl. Whisk well, set aside.
  • Proceed to the following steps when the pasta has about 5 minutes left in cooking time.
  • In a non-stick pan, add olive oil, halloumi and a smashed clove of garlic (skin on). Fry the halloumi on medium heat. (note 2)
  • Do not toss or flip the halloumi around, allow one side to sizzle and turn golden brown before flipping with a spatular and brown the other side. This will take about 3 - 4 minutes. (note 3)
  • Remove and discard the garlic (and skin!) with a pair of tongs. It has served its purpose.
  • The pasta should be ready and cooked to al dente now. Add pasta and ⅓ - ½ cup of pasta cooking water into the pan. Season heavily with black pepper. Toss pasta through like a boss or use a pair of tongs. Turn the heat off. (note 4)
  • The pan should no longer be sizzling. Now, slowly pour the whisked egg and parmesan cheese mixture into the pan, in a circular motion.
  • Very quickly now, toss the pasta through again and ensure it's thoroughly mixed and pasta is creamy, silky and exciting.
  • Serve immediately, with extra parmesan cheese and black pepper.

Notes

Note 1. Cook pasta to al dente just means taking the pasta out with about 2 minutes left on the recommended cooking time per packet instructions. Pasta should have a bit of a bite but not hard. The pasta will continue to cook (to perfection) as it is tossed through the creamy and silky carbonara sauce. 
Note 2. Smash garlic with the flat side of a knife or heel of your palm. We're only after a hint of garlic. The garlic will be discarded just before the pasta is added to the pan. No garlic bits throughout this pasta.
Note 3. Be careful, the halloumi will spit! Halloumi is stored in a salty liquid. Thus, when added into a hot pan with oil, it'll spit a little. A trick to minimise spitting is by pat drying the halloumi before adding to the pan. 
Note 4. Turn the heat off just before whisked egg and parmesan mixture is added. This is a very important step as it'll prevent the egg from turning into scrambled eggs! 
No salt added. Apart from salt being added to the pasta cooking water, this recipe does not require any more salt. The halloumi is salty and the parmesan cheese (or pecorino, if using) is salty too. I find the seasoning to be perfect as is, with freshly cracked black pepper. Of course, adjust seasoning to suit your taste. 
Leftovers best finish this dish on the day. I've not tried reheating this in the microwave the next day. Potential scrambled eggs? If you have, let me know!
Tried this recipe?Mention @Casuallypeckish or tag #casuallypeckish!

Nutrition

Calories: 464kcal | Carbohydrates: 38.4g | Protein: 22.8g | Fat: 24.4g | Saturated Fat: 12.8g | Cholesterol: 148mg | Potassium: 228mg | Sugar: 1.4g | Calcium: 252mg | Iron: 3mg