If I were asked to name my very favorite single dish, I think it would have to be spaghetti carbonara. It’s like having bacon and eggs, but with pasta. It’s very rich, so I only make it once in a blue moon, when I feel like treating myself.
This version of spaghetti carbonara calls for raw or undercooked eggs. If that bothers you, skip it. If not, read on!
1 lb. dried spaghetti or other favorite pasta, such as linguine or penne
3 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
4 oz. diced bacon, pancetta or guanciale (I prefer the smoky flavor of bacon)
2 whole egg plus 4 additional yolks
¼ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
¼ cup grated Pecorino Romano
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbs of the olive oil over medium heat and cook the bacon until the fat has rendered and it’s crisp, 5-7 minutes. Set aside off the heat
- In a large metal heatproof mixing bowl, whisk together the whole eggs and yolks, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Pecorino Romano, and black pepper.
- Cook the pasta in boiling water until just al dente.
- Using tongs or a strainer, transfer the pasta to the skillet with the bacon. Don’t throw out the pasta water.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil to the pasta and stir to combine.
- Scrape the pasta with the bacon into the egg mixture, adding ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Stir well.
- Set the metal mixing bowl with the pasta over the pot of boiling pasta water and cook gently, stirring quickly with tongs, until the sauce thickens to a creamy, silky consistency. Don’t let the bottom of the bowl touch the water or it will scramble the eggs.
- Remove from heat and serve with additional grated cheese, as desired.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.