Thursday, December 8, 2011

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

OK,  so admittedly, I have only made this once before.  It was a disaster.  No, really, I mean a REAL disaster!  I decided since it is one of my husbands favorites, I would try again.  I watched video after video, read recipe, after recipe.  I equipped myself with every ounce of knowledge I could find.  After all I have eaten it plenty, so know the difference in taste between good carbonara and bad.  So  I was prepared to make the best carbonara I have ever tasted...........and I DID IT!!  I also chose to use bacon instead of panchetta because it is what I had in the freezer.  I personally prefer bacon to panchetta in carbonara.  Odd I know, but I do.  I enjoy the smokey flavor it lends but do miss the bite of the panchetta too.  It is 6 of one, and  a half dozen of the other, pick what you like!

After I decided to make my own recipe, I was torn.  Half of the videos I watched,  or recipes I read, used cream and half didn't.  Well, I am a cream lovin' girl so I decided I would take the best parts, in my opinion, of the recipes I watched and put it together into my own version.  This recipe will feed 3-5, I only served it with some crostini. 

Before we start, there are a few tips I have for you.  First, save your pasta water, you will need some of it!  Secondly, bring your eggs to room temp before using.  An important ingredient is fresh cracked black pepper, USE IT!  When you add your egg/cheese mixture, you will have shut off your flame or burner, and put your pan on a cold burner or hot pad on your counter.  The trick is to cook the egg gently with the heat of the pasta and residual heat from you pan.  You don't want scrambled eggs.  That being said, let me tell you what you will need for this dish.

3 eggs (room temp)
1 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup pasta water
1/2 lb bacon, chopped (traditionally panchetta is used so substitute if you like)
1 tbsp fresh cracked black pepper
16 oz spaghetti

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, salt liberally and add in pasta.  In a large skillet, brown bacon in 1 tsp olive oil, turn to low so it doesn't gt overly crispy but remains on a gentle heat. 

In a separate bowl mix your eggs, cheese, cream and pepper together.  When pasta is al'dente, use tongs and transfer it from its pot to the bacon pan quickly.  Pour in egg mixture and using tongs, toss until all of the mixture is combined, gently stirring and tossing for a bit longer  Add some of the pasta cooking water to loosen up your sauce and continue tossing until all incorporated.  Do NOT let your eggs scramble!!  They should cook while thickening your sauce, making a silky, gorgeous sauce that gently coats all of your pasta!  Salt to taste as always!! Bacon and cheese are salty so be careful!

My husband fell in love with me all over again after I served this to him.   The only thing I might do differently next time is combine some panchetta with some bacon, and get the best of both worlds!!
Buon Appetito!
Your "don't think about the eggs while your eating"chefwannabe


  1. I am so using this as a guide tonight! Making a half batch and using ham, bacon fat and 1% milk. Won't be as creamy and delish as I am sure yours was, but the ratios are much appreciated!

    1. Let me know how it turns out! Or post a photo on the FB wall!!! Good luck. I need to make this again soon!