Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara is my boyfriend’s specialty – and he learned it from a real live Italian he lived with a few years back. Now it’s our go-to meal when there’s nothing in the fridge and we want a hot, hearty meal on the table in 20 minutes flat. It’s not the type of pasta I would recommend saving leftovers of, so calculate the quantity of spaghetti for how many people are eating. Also, according to our Italian friend, it’s really important to use spaghetti for this recipe – it’s gets all tangled with the egg and traps the heat in, cooking the egg more effectively. You’ll find if you do it with linguini or something else, it will end up really runny instead of firming up and sticking to the pasta.

This is how it’s done for two servings.

The key is to keep it simple – there are only 6 ingredients and really no need to measure them. Here it goes:

  • Whisk 2 large eggs in a large mixing bowl (calculate 1 egg per person).
  • Add a large pinch of salt and small pinch of nutmeg and pepper to the eggs (depending on your feelings about pepper, you can add more or less – I like it to have a little kick – however, nutmeg is essential).
  • In the meantime get a large pot of water boiling and salt the water. Also get a non-stick pan on medium-high heat to cook up some bacon (I cut up the strips before, but do it the way that works best for you). If you don’t like bacon, you could also use any type of thick sliced ham that you like.
  • Once the pasta is cooked through, drain it completely and immediately add it to the egg mixture. Toss the spaghetti and add the bacon. The heat from the pasta pretty much cooks the egg, but if you have doubts about eating semi-raw egg, carbonaras in general probably aren’t for you.
  • Serve and top with some freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

That’s all there is to it! Sometimes I like to switch it up and add some sauteed mushrooms and onion or shrimp to the mix. To do that, do everything else the same and just toss those ingredients in at the very end. Not only is this super fast, but it’s not as heavy as a lot of others I’ve seen that add heavy cream to it. There’s just no need!

*Thanks to Rodrigo, the chef behind today’s meal.