Spaghetti Carbonara with Tomato and Basil

“They stemmed the flow of my alcohol rich blood with the aid of a kitchen towel roll tied to my head with electrical tape and gave me a pint of Irish whiskey and waited until I passed out.”

electric tomatoes

There is something to be said about blue water sailing, to be amongst the elements far out to sea with the waxing and waning of the moon. Wooden boats and iron men as they used to say. Now much more plastic boats and plastic men, but the thrill is still the same. That being said, there is something pretty fantastic about being stuck in port for six months within walking distance of a pub and with not a guest to be seen. This is exactly how I finished yachting on what was to be one of my favorite gigs with an awesome bunch of people, siting at the dock in the birth place of pesto genovese or simply put, Pesto. In the Italian city of Genoa.

spaghetti carbonara with tomato basil

Now don’t go all “goo gah” on me because it’s Italy, like you guys seem to love to do. Spend enough time in Italy and you will quickly learn that nothing works, everyone is a con artist and its really hard to find a fekking salad. Unless slice tomatoes on a plate is your idea of salad then knock your socks off, book a flight cause the salads are awesome. So as Italian cities go Genoa is some what of a shit hole.

spaghetti carbonara with tomato basil

Seriously I got shot in the face in this city by a flying Prosecco cork with a razor ring of glass still attached to it. It sliced across my cheek, leaving a pretty horrified bar of people and a very nasty scare. They stemmed the flow of my alcohol rich blood with the aide of a kitchen towel roll tied to my head with electrical tape and gave me a pint of Irish whiskey and waited until I passed out. Believe me my nurse wife was horrified when I skyped her the next morning. So this is no Rome or Venice folks rest assured.  I certainly wouldn’t mark Genoa on my list of must see destinations.

Like all good love stories, give her enough time and you’ll come around. Look past the horrible freeway that cuts across the face of the city and her tired exterior and you find a lot of wonderful nooks and crannys and a deep and rich history. From here I was able to hit most all of Northern Italia in weekend trips and that in the end made up for it. With the famous coast line of Cinque Terre and old coastal fishing villages like Portofino to the beautiful Tuscan country side and its Porcini mushrooms. With the cities of Milan, Florence and Pisa all just an hour or two with in reach and still under 3 hours to the Alps. Genoa might not be pretty but location location location.

So our bosun and dive master a wee English lass Amy who has since left yachting to become a pretty successful life coach both agreed, “don’t eat carbs they only make you feel like a f*#khead”…. and I still stand by that statement. So although I do love  my carbi beers and pizza, I tried not to force a lot of carbs on the crew if I could help it and when I did, I kept it light and simple. For good pasta, keep the ingredients to two or three. This is one of my favorites.

parmesan cheese grater

spaghetti carbonara with tomato basil

Spaghetti Carbonara with Tomato and Basil
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 servings
  • ½ box thin spaghetti
  • 6 rashes of bacon cut into 1 inch pieces
  • ½ punnet cherry tomatoes halved
  • fresh basil leaves
  • 1 egg (whisked)
  • 2 Tbs salted butter
  • salt and pepper
  • grated parmesan reggiano cheese
  1. Boil pasta until al dente (I always cook my pasta 2 minutes under what package says for al dente) (keep pasta water aside to add a little to sauce)
  2. In a cast iron skillet, cook your bacon and render fat until golden brown. Set aside bacon on paper towel, leave fat in skillet.
  3. To the skillet, add cherry tomatoes sliced side down and cook for 2-3 minutes until seared, browned and blistered. (I only cooked one side so they didn't get too mushy)
  4. Remove cherry tomatoes from skillet and place aside in bowl.
  5. Wipe excess bacon fat out of pan with paper towel (careful, it's hot)
  6. Add the bacon and tomatoes back in the skillet on low heat to warm through, add the drained pasta with approximately ¼ cup of pasta water and add butter and whisked egg. Toss through until creamy. Remove from heat (you don't want scrambled eggs).
  7. Top with fresh basil leaves, salt, pepper and grated parmesan cheese and serve immediately.


spaghetti carbonara eaten

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: