Go Back

Spaghetti Carbonara

Prep Time15 mins
Active Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Cuisine: Italian
Yield: 5 servings
Author: Maria Luisa Taglienti
Cost: moderate

Materials

Ingredients

  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 6 slices bacon, diced fine
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cup dry white wine
  • 3 large eggs at room temperature, slightly beaten with
  • cup grated Parmesan cheese with extra for garnish
  • cup grated Romano cheese with extra for garnish
  • freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  • Cook spaghetti in boiling salted water for 7 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile...
    Place oil and bacon in a small skillet and sauté until bacon is crisp.
    Then add the wine and cook over medium flame until the wine has evaporated.
    Taste spaghetti for salt, drain and return to hot saucepan.
    Add to it the eggs and cheese mixture, plenty of black pepper and very HOT bacon fat, mixing well.
    The egg mixture should attach itself to the spaghetti and be cooked by its heat so care should be taken that it is not allowed to cool before the addition of the egg mixture. If, after thorough mixing, the eggs still look raw, place the saucepan over a low flame for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
    Place on a hot serving dish, garnish with the extra grated cheese and serve immediately.

Notes

Substitutions
  • Rather use guanciale? Substitute it for the bacon specified in the recipe, one-to-one. (Also meat lovers who are preparing this as THE meal, rather than a single course in a meal, feel free to use up to 8 slices or 8 ounces of guanciale or bacon.) 
  • Using ONLY Pecorino Romano (instead of a combination of equal portions of Parmesan and Romano cheeses) is also a good and popular option; let your tastebuds decide.  
 
Product Recommendations
  • The thicker and fattier the bacon, the better. Slab bacon is ideal. Then, slice and then dice it into 1/3" long strips (as you'd do with guanciale.) This allows the meat to get deliciously crispy outside yet stay juicy inside.
  • Impatience to get started with this recipe might tempt you to settle for using one of the pre-packaged grated domestic brands of cheese available at most every supermarket, but please DON'T DO IT.  You'd be cheating yourself and your hungry people big time. Instead, look for fresh high-quality domestic Parmesan and Romano cheeses. Or better yet, good Parmegiano-Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses imported from Italy. Just remember to decrease the amount of salt you typically use in your pasta water since Pecorino Romano is plenty salty.
  • As to pasta brands, De Cecco is top of my list, then Barilla. Also, if you’re sensitive to gluten, Barilla's line of gluten-free pasta is quite good.