I call this my breakfast pasta even though I only eat it for dinner. Why, you ask? Because it incorporates my breakfast favorites: eggs and bacon!
Traditionally, spaghetti alla carbonara is made using pancetta or guanciale, but I prefer to use bacon. I like the smokiness of bacon, plus its easier to find at markets. And honestly, who doesn’t have bacon in their fridge?!
With only a handful of ingredients, you can create a delicious and hearty meal in less than 30 minutes!
From start to finish, it only took me 15 minutes to cook this dinner. Yes, only 15 minutes.
While I was heating a covered pot of salted water on the stove, I chopped up the bacon, onions, and garlic. By the time I put the bacon on the skillet, the water was ready for the pasta. My spaghetti took 9 minutes to cook to al dente, finishing around the same time as my bacon onion mixture. Everything is cooked and prepared at the same time, meaning there isn’t much waiting around. At the last minute you throw everything together and serve it immediately.
It’s rich and flavorful without the use of any oil, butter, or cream!
Say hello to your new favorite pasta dish!
Spaghetti Carbonara, serves 2-3 (double or triple as needed)
1/2 pound dried spaghetti
4 slices of thick cut bacon (about 4 oz), cut into small cubes
3/4 cup diced onion
3 garlic cloves, sliced thin (horizontally)
1 heaping cup of shredded parmesan cheese
2 large eggs
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
Italian flat-leaf parsley, chopped, as needed to garnish
grated parmesan cheese and black pepper, for serving
1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. Cook to al dente according to pasta package directions. Before draining cooked pasta, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water.
2. In a large skillet (10-12 inch skillet works best), saute bacon over medium-heat high. As the bacon cooks, fat will render. You will use that fat to cook and flavor the remaining ingredients.
3. Once bacon is about 2/3 done cooking, add garlic. Stir to combine. Cook for about 30 seconds and then add onions.
4. Cook until onions have softened and are translucent, and bacon is browned and crisp. Meanwhile, while bacon mixture is cooking, in a small bowl whisk together eggs until homogenous. Add parmesan cheese and black pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
5. Add drained pasta to skillet. Remove from heat.
6. Pour cheese-egg mixture over pasta. *Work quickly and use kitchen tongs to toss and distribute ingredients together. The heat from the pasta and bacon mixture is enough to cook the eggs. As the cheese melts, continue to toss pasta with tongs to evenly coat noodles with sauce. If pasta looks dry, add 1 tablespoon of reserved pasta and toss. Garnish with parsley, generously add additional ground black pepper and grated parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
*Notes: Be sure to add cheese-egg mixture off the heat to ensure that the eggs do not scramble!
-Also to note, I did not add any salt to this recipe because the bacon I used had enough salty flavor. However, feel free to add salt according to taste.
-As finished pasta cools, add additional pasta water (1 Tbsp at a time) when reheating pasta in the skillet to make dish creamy again.