Years ago, I made Spaghetti Carbonara for dinner on a whim. I’d never tasted it before and was a little wary about mixing raw eggs into hot pasta, but I put on my apron and dove right in. A classic dish created in Rome, it’s also known as “bacon and egg pasta” since bacon or pancetta is part of the equation. What drew me to this pasta, was the simplicity of the recipe and that it was made with ingredients almost always in my kitchen.
I splurged and used pancetta this time instead of bacon. But there is almost always bacon in my freezer, which makes this a terrific last minute dinner. The pancetta was sautéed with onion, then the pan was deglazed with some white wine. I often use vermouth when white wine is called for in a recipe. An open bottle can sit in the fridge since it’s fortified. It may not be perfect for a dry martini due to the oxidation process, but in cooking, it’s great in a pinch.
To make this easy pasta, just cook the spaghetti until al dente, or slightly firm to the bite. Drain and toss with the bacon of your choice, then quickly mix in a mixture of whisked eggs and cheeses. Make sure this tossing takes place in a bowl and not a hot pan. The result should be a creamy pasta sauce, not scrambled eggs. The eggs do get cooked in the process, but if you’re serving to the very young, elderly or immune suppressed, I’d recommend using pasteurized eggs.
My husband, a truly picky eater, loved this dish from his first bite. Bacon and eggs are part of his weekend breakfast routine, so taking this traditional pairing into a weekday supper wasn’t too much of a risk. But I always hold my breath when I go off the beaten path. Thank goodness, this spaghetti carbonara was a hit and now part of our Weekday Supper rotation. I hope you’ll give it a try.
Creamy Spaghetti Carbonara
- 6 ounces pancetta diced
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup Parmesan
- ⅓ cup Romano
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Cook pancetta in a saucepan over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
- Add onion and continue cooking till onion is golden, about 10 minutes.
- Add wine and cook till reduced by half.
- Cook spaghetti in well-salted water till done.
- While pasta is cooking, whisk together eggs, cheeses, pepper, and salt.
- Drain pasta and add to pancetta and onion mixture. Toss well over medium heat, till well mixed. Remove from heat and add egg mixture, tossing to combine.
- Serve immediately.