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Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

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This month for the Secret Recipe Club I was assigned to Kate is Cooking and while the girl doesn’t like sweets, but does  enjoy alcohol (opposite of me on both accounts), I had so much fun perusing her delicious recipes. A lot of them spelled comfort, and I’m all about comfort food, especially this time of year as the weather turns cooler.

I like that Kate creates a lot of her recipes by taking what she likes from several different ones and combining them, as I’ve done that quite a bit myself. And I hope she is honored I did the same with the recipe I chose from her blog: spaghetti carbonara.Classic Spaghetti Carbonara | veronicascornucopia.com

Have you heard of it? It’s basically the Italian way of having breakfast for dinner – mixing eggs and bacon (guanciale if you want to be really traditional) into your pasta. It’s so creamy & yummy! However, the authentic way to make it is with a raw egg yolk sitting on top that you mix in as you eat to create a silky sauce.  Now, I love a runny yolk in an over-easy or poached egg, but I really had to push myself outside my comfort zone to follow through and try it with the raw yolk on top. I’m not scared of salmonella, as I’ve eaten my weight in raw cookie dough, French Silk Pie, and tiramisu without a problem, but just the idea of eating a straight raw yolk. Heebie jeebies!

Turns out, I prefer it with the whole egg mixed into the pasta, and as you can see by the golden hue of my pasta, I did go ahead and do it the way I was comfortable with, then just added a yolk on top to go ahead and try it. It does add a rich silkiness to the dish, and I say go for it if you’ve never tried it and aren’t afraid to.  But I like it just as well with it all mixed in – you choose which way you’d like.  Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, Kate, and expanding my foodie adventure horizons!

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

3 tablespoons Kosher salt or 1 tablespoon table salt
1 lb dried spaghetti
1/2 lb bacon or guanciale
2 large garlic cloves, peeled
4 large eggs
1/2 cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup chopped parsley

Bring 5 quarts of water and salt to a boil in a large pot. Cook the pasta about a minute less than the package directions, to al dente. You’ll want to reserve a cup of the cooking water before draining, but I will remind you of that later when the time comes. :)

While the pasta is cooking, cut the bacon crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch wide, or dice the guanciale into small pieces. Cook in a large skillet over medium high heat, along with the garlic cloves, just until the bacon begins to crisp. Don’t make it too crispy or it won’t meld with the pasta. When it’s done, remove the garlic (makes a great pre-dinner snack – just delicious!), and drain off all but 2-3 tablespoons of the bacon grease.

While the bacon is cooking, break the eggs into a large bowl or pasta serving dish. If you prefer to serve with egg yolks on top, separate the eggs and set the unbroken yolks aside with the whites alone in the bowl. Beat the eggs or egg whites with a fork until frothy. Add some freshly ground pepper and the cheese.

Now, to put this together. Drain the finished pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Stir a small amount of water into the eggs to temper them and prevent them from scrambling when you add the hot pasta. Add more water until you’ve reached about 1/4 cup, then quickly stir in the pasta with a pasta spoon. Add the bacon and grease to the pasta and stir well. The egg, bacon grease, Parmesan, and pasta water become your sauce! If it is too thick, add additional pasta water until it is your desired consistency.

Mound the pasta in pasta bowls or onto plates. Top each serving with a sprinkle of parsley and an egg yolk if you reserved them to serve this way. Enjoy!

Recipe source: adapted from Kate’s Kitchen & Ruth Reichl’s recipe in Garlic & Saphires.

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About Veronica

I have a kitchen addiction and love to collect & share recipes. My passion is baking but I love to cook as well. The only thing I don't like to do in the kitchen is wash dishes, but my husband generally does them for me in exchange for his dinner.

18 responses »

  1. What delicious looking carbonara, I really want a big bite! The colours are beautiful :D

    Cheers
    Choc Chip Uru

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  2. Is there anything more comforting than Carbonara? Yum!

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  3. I”m with you, for some reason eating cookie dough is no problem but eating a raw egg yolk gives me the heebie jeebies too. Although, this looks awesome!!!

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  4. The pasta looks amazing. Not sure I could bring myself to eat the raw yolk either. Carbonara is delicious though, good choice!

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  5. That’s one of my husbands favorite dishes. I tried to make a “healthy” version, but um, let’s just say that didn’t go over so well!

    https://biz319.wordpress.com/category/pork-2/pasta-carbonara/

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  6. these spaguettis look absolutely amazing Veronica!! Love them, my son is crazy by spaguettis!!
    xoxo

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  7. That carbonara looks delicious. I never make truely authentic carbonara but it looks great. Great SRC post!

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  8. I love Kate’s site. I have difficulties with raw eggs, too, but I do love carbonara. My go to recipe is from Ruth as well.

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  9. I’m so glad you enjoyed the Carbonara!

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  10. Mmm that egg! Love your photos girl :) I was so happy to have your blog this month! You seriously have wayyyyyy too many good recipes on your blog! I’m still dreaming of those rice crispy treats I made… seriously the best I’ve had! Until I make the pumpkin ones of course…. :)

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  11. Oh my gosh, I adore a classic carbonara and use guanciale (I even special order guanciale from St. Louis for it). Your’s looks perfectly creamy!

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  12. This is my favorite way to eat pasta! Looks wonderful.

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  13. i love spaghetti carbonara! but i’ve never done the raw egg. kinda freaks me out :)

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