“Carbonara” was a word that conjured up images of pasta or meat slathered in cream sauces. Although it is definitely tasty, that usually isn’t a dish that appeals to me much – until I finally figured out what carbonara really means. Carbonara refers to a dish made with eggs, cheese, bacon and black pepper. In a true Italian fashion, fresh pasta is cooked and immediately tossed with a heavenly egg mixture, coating the pasta. That layer of creaminess, plus the simplicity of the dish, makes this Spaghetti alla Carbonara absolutely unbelievable. If you haven’t had carbonara pasta like this, you really should try it.
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Spaghetti alla Carbonara
- 5 eggs, beaten
- 1/4 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
- sea salt (about 1/2 tsp) and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb spaghetti
- 2 tbsp kosher salt
- 4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 lb pancetta, sliced and diced
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add spaghetti and kosher salt and cook until pasta is 2 minutes away from being al dente (according to package instructions).
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook until browned and crispy. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix eggs, cheese, salt and pepper.
- When pasta is ready, reserve about 1 cup of pasta water. Drain spaghetti. Transfer to skillet with pancetta and toss for 1-2 minutes over low heat. Add 1/2 cup of cooking water to moisten. Simmer until water is evaporated.
- Transfer pasta and pancetta to a large bowl, and immediately add the egg and cheese mixture, tossing vigorously with tongs to distribute the sauce. If you’re not tossing quickly, it will turn into scrambled eggs, and you don’t want that. If pasta seems dry, you can add a little more of the pasta water. Serve immediately, with freshly ground pepper and more grated cheese.