Spaghetti Carbonara is a classic. It usually consists of spaghetti noodles, bacon, eggs, cheese, and black pepper. However, many variations have come out of this simple dish, such as pancetta or guanciale instead of bacon, linguine or fettuccine instead of spaghetti, or the addition of ingredients like peas, onions, or cream; all highly controversial. This one is pretty straightforward and won't have you running to an Italian market for specialty pork or cheese.
The magic of pasta carbonara is all in the eggs. This recipe calls for one whole egg and three egg yokes! They blend with the cheese and warm noodles into a shiny, creamy, binding (almost)sauce that gives carbonara it's "how is this so good?" factor.
Easy Spaghetti Carbonara
- 1/2 lb spaghetti noodles
- 5 slices of bacon
- 1 egg & 3 egg yolks
- 1/4 cup parmesan
- Salt & pepper
- 1/4 cup pasta-water
- 1-2 Tbsp bacon grease (optional)
Cook your bacon in the oven and save some of the bacon grease for later. Once bacon has cooled slightly, chop into smaller pieces.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Combine your egg and yolks in a large bowl and let them come to room temperature. Add parmesan, a pinch of salt and A LOT of black pepper.
Cook pasta until just al dente. Save a 1/4 cup of the water from the pasta before draining. Drain pasta and immediately throw the noodles into the bowl with your egg / cheese mixture. Working quickly, continue stirring the noodles with the eggs, so that the cheese melts and eggs cook, but do not scramble. You can be adding some of the bacon grease for flavor and some of the pasta water to help thin the mixture if it's getting too sticky or seems too thick. I recommend just adding a little water at a time so that your finished dish is not watery. Stir in bacon pieces.
Serve in bowls, top with extra parmesan, if desired.