Last updated on June 5, 2021 by Liza Hawkins
This easy spaghetti carbonara is perfect for a busy weeknight, and loaded with bacon and parmesan! Make it a little saucier by adding an extra egg and/or up to a quarter cup of reserved pasta water. So good!
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Tonight it was just me and the kids for dinner, as my husband was out at a concert with some friends for the evening.
While I love going to a good concert, I wasn’t upset about missing this one.
It’s at an outside venue. And, it’s hot here in Maryland.
Like, 115°F with the heat index, hot. To quote the local D.C. weatherman, “It’s stupid hot, people, just stay inside where there’s air conditioning.”
Plus it’s Furthur. I enjoyed a healthy dose of the Dead in college, but going to see a show these days (can you really call it “a show” without Jerry?) just doesn’t float my boat.
Which works out nicely because my husband can still have a great time shakin’ his bones to some jam-band music, and we don’t have to try to find a babysitter for the kids. It’s all good.
But back to the 115°F thing…
I didn’t feel like heating up the kitchen by roasting anything in my oven tonight.
And then I remembered one of my favorite recipes from one of my favorite books — Ruth Reichl’s Spaghetti Carbonara from Garlic and Sapphires.
Pretty much ready to go in fifteen minutes, with minimal labor over a hot stove. Brilliant.
And there’s bacon.
A half-pound of bacon.
How bad can that be?
This easy spaghetti carbonara is perfect for a busy weeknight, and loaded with bacon and parmesan!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1/2 pound bacon
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
- 2 large eggs
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
- 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil (don’t skimp – use 3 heaping tablespoons to salt your water). Once it’s boiling, throw the spaghetti in. Most dried spaghetti takes 9 to 10 minutes to cook, and you can make the sauce in that time.
- Cut the bacon crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Put them in a large skillet and cook for 2 minutes over medium-high heat, until the fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon begin to get crisp. Do not overcook; if they get too crisp, they won’t meld with the pasta.
- Meanwhile, break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, add the pepper and beat them with a fork until they’re creamy, about 30 seconds.
- Remove the garlic from the bacon pan. If it looks like too much fat to you, discard some, but you’re going to toss the bacon with most of its fat into the pasta.
- When it’s cooked, reserve 1/4 cup of pasta water, and then drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Use a pair of tongs to toss and mix the pasta thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce.
- Add the bacon with its fat, the cheese and 1/2 teaspoon salt. If you want it a little saucier, add some of your reserved pasta water. Toss again, and then serve with more parmesan on top.
Adapted from Ruth Reichl's recipe in Garlic and Sapphires. Make it a little saucier by adding an extra egg and/or up to a quarter cup of reserved pasta water.
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Amount Per Serving: Calories: 576Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 160mgSodium: 1382mgCarbohydrates: 47gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 34g