Spaghetti alla Carbonara – My Favorite Comfort Pasta Dish

Oct 03, 2020

Yesterday was Friday, and guess what I had when I came home from work? Yep, A comfort pasta dish. In fact, the comfort pasta dish that while not enjoyed often, when chosen to be enjoyed is deeply savored – Spaghettia alla Carbonara.

I have been eating and then cooking this dish for decades. My mother began cooking this dish when we were young children, and it was a special occasion to cozy in and be home with our family.

Such a simple dish – eggs, cheese, bacon (pancetta) and pasta (plus a few extra ingredients – aromatics and a spice) to add lovely layers of flavor.

While admittedly, not a French comfort recipe, it is a comfort recipe, and I would be remiss if I did not include in this season’s line-up of recipes as it has brough immense comfort, albeit fleeting, throughout the past twenty years, and usually always on a Friday.

Last season I shared this pasta dish as my go-to Friday pasta meal, and it is still true (it was viewers’ favorite recipe last year as well, for good reason). Far fewer calories, and still full of flavor, it was what I transitioned to when I acknowledged, Spaghetti alla Carbonara was – well – hearty and deeply rich and lovely. But having such a deeply rich and lovely dish from time to time is exactly why we must include it this season. We all need a bit more love, and when we choose to do so thoughtfully, to not feel guilty about it. Tomorrow and Sunday – long walks, a yoga session and eating well as well as time puttering about in the garden.

Now to the episode! Just below discover how simple and in fewer than 15 minutes, you too can be enjoying Spaghetti alla Carbonara.

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An Everyday Luxury

Shannon’s Cookbook Library (be sure to check out the end of today’s episode in the video above to see all of the titles and how I chose to include this decor detail in my kitchen).

Links from the Episode:


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From episode #2 of this season – Yvonne G. made her own Gougères and paired it with Kir Royale. I am loving this combination!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Simply LuxuriousSimply Luxurious
A favorite comfort food meal I have been enjoying since I was a young girl. Adapted, changed, tweaked and finessed over the past thirty years, I could probably make this recipe with my eyes closed, I've made it so many times.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 10 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 2 people

Ingredients
  

  • 8 ounces spaghetti (traditional or whole wheat)
  • 2 Tbsp extra olive oil
  • 3 ounces thickly diced pancetta (choose fatty pieces, lean doesn't help the flavor – enjoy this dish!)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 Tbsp freshly ground black pepper
  • fleur de sel for the pasta water and to season the sauce

Instructions
 

  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over medium/high heat.
  • Add about 2 tablespoons olive oil to a large skillet over medium heat. Add the pancetta to the cold pan and slowly render all the goodness the pancetta offers over a medium heat and cook until it starts to color and become crisp. Just before you turn off the heat, if there is excess oil, drain all but two tablespoons. Continue cooking for medium heat and add a chopped up garlic clove for one minute. Turn off the heat and reserve.
  • While the pancetta is rendering. Drop the pasta into the salted boiling water and cook it 1 minute less than it says on the package, usually about 6 to 7 minutes. Bite the pasta to check the consistency.
  • While the pasta is cooking, crack the eggs into a large mixing bowl. Add the grated Parmigana Reggiano and season with a dash of salt. Whisk vigorously until it becomes a homogenous. Season generously with black pepper.
  • When the pasta is just about done, return the pan with the pancetta to medium heat. Remove the pasta from the cooking water. Toss or stir the pasta into the pancetta to coat the pasta with the remaining fat in the skillet. Immediately and vigorously stir the egg mixture into the pasta. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly until the egg mixture looks like a cream sauce.
  • Serve immediately and sprinkle with left-over grated Parmigiana Reggiano.


16 thoughts on “Spaghetti alla Carbonara – My Favorite Comfort Pasta Dish

  1. Delicious.Great dish. A family favourite as well. Also great as a supper party dish I replace the pancetta with porcini and tagliatelle😊

  2. I so enjoy your video’s, your joy of the kitchen comes through. Several years ago, in a little mountain village in Italy, I had this dish for the first time, it was named something different but I can’t remember what they called it. It was just like yours. Simple and delicious. Served with a crusty bread and a tomato salad with a bit of olive oil I felt like I belonged there. You have reminded me of that day, thank you. I will put this on my “to make” list!

  3. A lovely recipe I’ve never had the confidence to try myself as I fear the eggs will over cook but I definitely plan to try it. Your shirt and hair were so lovely in this video too!
    Thank you

    1. Sarah, You can absolutely do this. The key is to turn the burner off just before you add the egg mixture. You can always turn the pan back on if you need to cook them a bit, but simply having it off when you add them will give you more control. 🙂 Enjoy!

  4. Love Spaghetti Carbonara! I make it a little differently but it all turns out the same, delicious! I wish I had a place for all of my cookbooks as I only have one tiny shelf in a cabinet above my microwave. Yours look great on display!

    1. Thank you for tuning in! There are so many beloved ways of making it and it does seem that many have a preferred method and passionately stick to it. Do what you love – and tailor to your tastes – that is the best recipe. 🙂

  5. The main problem with Americans trying to copy Italian recipes is they they tend to add too much stuff, too many ingredients.
    Often americanized versions of italian dishes are full of cream and other things that aren’t present in the original recipe.
    The power of italian cuisine is in its simplicity: there are no broccoli or vegetables in carbonara and there’s really no need at all to cook pancetta in oil since the fat will melt and act as oil for cooking.
    Also in the original recipe there’s no salame, the ingredient is something similar to pancetta that is called guanciale, but if you can’t find that one, smoked pancetta would be fine.
    I also suggest using a mix of Pecorino and Parmigiano and not using whole eggs, just use one whole egg and for the other two ones just use the yolk, be careful not to transform your pasta in an omelette (that is one of the worst mistakes), you shouldn’t really cook the egg, just warm it enough so it won’t be slimy.

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