Spaghetti a la Carbonara (or bacon and eggs Italian-style!)

15 Feb

Nowhere does it say that Hot, Cheap & Easy means low-fat, low-carb or low-cholesterol. As it happens, a lot of what I prepare and eat is on the lighter, greener, and grainier side, but I am never averse to bacon and eggs; in fact, sometimes I feel that they are the only possible answer.

Bacon and eggs for dinner? Yeah.

Bacon and eggs and pasta for dinner? Double yeah.

Bacon and eggs and pasta and cheese for dinner? Bring It On.

Thus spaghetti alla carbonara, a dish from Rome that  shows once again, no matter the state of their government, economy or traffic, no one can as consistently make as many people happy with food as effortlessly as the Italians.

Leandro and I threw this dish together in less than 20 minutes. He is getting very handy with the egg-cracking and beating and whether it was pride in his own handiwork, or just the ineffable joy of bacon grease and cheese, he made short work of two heaping bowls of it. We will be doing this on our next camping trip; I may try to make it a one-pot affair and will keep you posted!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

1-2 Tbs olive oil

1-2 Tbs butter

4 oz bacon (about four rashers), or pancetta if you’ve got, cut into ¼ inch squares

1 lb spaghetti or other long pasta

4-5 fresh eggs*, well beaten

½ Cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Grana Padano or, more typically Roman: Pecorino

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat the oil and butter in a skillet; add the bacon and sauté until golden and crisping up. Remove from fat and drain on paper towels.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Make sure you have the next step completed before that pasta is cooked so the pasta is piping hot when you turn it into the bowl.

While the pasta is cooking, beat the eggs, ¼ Cup of the grated cheese, and pepper in a large serving bowl. As soon as you drain the pasta, turn it into the bowl and toss well. (If you are worried that the egg hasn’t cooked enough, return it to the pasta pot and stir it around over the still warm burner or a low flame for a minute or two). Add the remaining cheese and serve.

*To make sure eggs are fresh, place them in a bowl of water to cover. A very fresh egg will stay completely submerged. A relatively fresh egg will float up on one end, while the other end remains on the bottom. An egg that floats is an egg that is rotten.


14 Responses to “Spaghetti a la Carbonara (or bacon and eggs Italian-style!)”

  1. Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy February 13, 2014 at 11:34 am #

    Reblogged this on Hot, Cheap & Easy and commented:

    Note to Readers: I noticed that this recipe is being hunted down today by many. And for good reason; what a perfect solution to a chilly, lazy snow day?

  2. kathryningrid March 11, 2013 at 8:02 pm #

    One of my eternal favorites!!! Nicely done. 😀

  3. Ashley February 20, 2012 at 9:04 am #

    In the words of your son, “It sounds amazingly awesome”

  4. Karen February 18, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    This is one of my favorite Italian dishes and so easy to make. Thanks for reminding me that I haven’t had this in a long time and I need to prepare it soon.

  5. cookiemomma February 15, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    Omg! Looks amazing.

  6. Lorraine February 15, 2012 at 6:38 pm #

    In New York, you can get wonderful home cured bacon without nitrates which is
    a lot better for one to eat that regular bacon; plus, instead of cooking white
    pasta, you might choose the whole wheat version so as to transform your spaghetti alla carbonara recipe into a healthier dish…..

    • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy February 15, 2012 at 6:55 pm #

      Thanks for the tips, Lorraine! We eat a lot of whole grain pasta, but this is a recipe that I don’t think would be right with it. I will look for better bacon…to go with the better beef and chicken we have already found!

      • Jen Combs February 13, 2014 at 11:55 am #

        I agree 100% this meal calls for white pasta. I can’t wait to cook it up. Hhmmm snow storm Pasta?

      • Natalia at Hot, Cheap & Easy February 13, 2014 at 12:04 pm #

        mmm-mmmm. I’m going to defrost some bacon now!

  7. Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide February 15, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

    I love bacon and eggs for dinner. This looks even better.

  8. Silvina February 15, 2012 at 6:12 pm #

    My Italian side is saying Yes! It is a Hot, Cheap and extremely easy way to prepare this Italian Classic, Natalia.


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