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Spaghetti carbonara is an old favorite that I’ve been meaning to reblog for some time now. The original recipe comes from Solo Suppers and I’ve featured it on the blog before, but this is my doctored version, the way I make the dish most.
Adjustments I’ve made to the original:
- Since I’m now an old married lady, I’ve increased the recipe from serving one to serving two. However, it’s simple to adjust and I’ve made it for one, two and three people. Simply use 1 egg, 3 tbsp Parmesan and 3 oz of pasta per serving.
- Pancetta is not always easy to find at my regular grocery store. Bacon, however, is. So that’s what I use. And I prefer the peppered bacon when I can get it!
- Paul does not like black pepper as much as I do, so if I’m using peppered bacon I only add a few grinds of additional pepper while cooking (but I garnish my own bowl with a healthy dose of it). If you can’t find peppered bacon, and/or like pepper, you can add as much as 1/2 tsp per serving.
If you’ve never made or eaten this type of spaghetti carbonara (i.e., not the cream-sauced version you find at restaurants), you might be squeamish about getting the eggs cooked. This was definitely one of my concerns the first time I made it. My best suggestion would be to use fresh, high-quality eggs and work fairly quickly to get them cooked through while the other ingredients are hot.
To see how the process works in real time, check out my Twitch broadcast from last week.
I know the hot-pasta-warm-bacon method works for up to three servings, but I can’t guarantee beyond that. If you’re making more servings, you may want to investigate a recipe that finishes the pasta on the stove to ensure there’s enough heat.
- 2 eggs
- 6 tbsp grated Parmesan
- freshly ground black pepper
- 6 slices peppered thick-cut bacon (about half a pound, though you can use less)
- 6 oz dry spaghetti
- Set a large pot of water with a big pinch of salt on the stove to boil; have a measuring cup nearby to scoop out pasta water later. Place a skillet over medium heat. Set a colander in the sink.
- Crack the eggs into a large bowl and whisk with a fork until uniform. Add the Parmesan and stir well. If your bacon is not peppered, add 1/2 tsp black pepper or as much as 1 tsp, depending on your tastes. Place the bowl near the sink.
- Cut the bacon into 1/2-inch slices and add to the skillet. Cook until just beginning to crisp. Drain most of the fat, leaving about a tablespoon in the pan. Keep warm within arm's reach of the sink and the bowl with eggs.
- Meanwhile, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions. When cooked to your liking, reserve 1/2 cup pasta water. Drain the pasta in the colander.
- Working quickly, add 1/8 to 1/4 cup of the pasta water to the egg mixture while whisking constantly to temper it. The cheese will start to melt and the mixture will begin to look smoother. Immediately add the hot spaghetti and bacon with the drippings. Toss with tongs until a smooth, creamy sauce forms. Add additional pasta water if necessary to achieve the right consistency.
- Serve immediately with additional Parmesan and black pepper. Any leftovers will not keep well, so enjoy it all!