Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Serves

    4

    as a main course

Appears in

This is the famous Roman pasta dish whose creaminess is achieved by tossing hot pasta with raw eggs. The hot pasta partially cooks the egg, but if eating raw eggs concerns you, this dish may not be for you. Some people use only yolks, which gives more richness to the dish, and others use whole eggs. In my first book, The Classic Pasta Cookbook, I used only yolks, but here I use a combination of whole eggs and yolks which I find makes the dish both richer and creamier. Actual cream should never be used, nor should the pasta be finished in a skillet.

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces pancetta, sliced
  • ¼ inch thick
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • Salt
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 to 4 sprigs flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • ¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 2 tablespoons freshly grated pecorino romano
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

  1. Fill a pot for the pasta with at least 6 quarts water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil.
  2. Unravel the pancetta and cut into thin ½-inch strips. Put the olive oil, butter, and pancetta in a 10-inch skillet and place over medium-high heat. Cook until the pancetta begins to brown but not long enough to make it crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it is reduced by half. Remove from the heat and set aside.
  3. Add about 2 tablespoons salt to the boiling water, put in the spaghetti, and stir until all the strands are submerged. Cook until al dente.
  4. While the pasta is cooking, finely chop enough of the parsley leaves to measure 1 tablespoon. Put the parsley and the grated cheeses in a serving bowl. Add the eggs and yolks and season lightly with salt and generously with pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  5. Put the skillet with the pancetta back over high heat to get it hot quickly. Drain the pasta, put it in the bowl with the egg mixture, and toss vigorously. Pour the contents of the skillet into the bowl and toss again. Serve at once.

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