Saturday, January 29, 2011

Spaghetti ala Carbonara Recipe

The other day I was at the grocery store and noticed they had pancetta. I love pancetta. Of course, I bought some. I had no idea what I was going to use it for but I bought it anyway. Okay, for those who might not know about pancetta, it is like an Italian bacon. Not as good as bacon but pretty darn good.

One the way home I started thinking what I could make. It hit me. Spaghetti Carbonara. Now I made Spaghetti Carbonara a few years ago and it was okay. I think it's because I had seen Rachel Ray make it one day and I tried to recreate it. Of course, I missed half the show, so that didn't help.

I willy-nilly made it and it probably wasn't that good since I never made it again. So this time I did the unthinkable. I actually followed a recipe. I grabbed Tom's iPad and used my Food Network app and found a great recipe by Tyler Florence. The Food Network app rocks the freaking house. If you have an iPad, I highly recommend it.

Okay it is super duper hard for me to follow any recipe but luckily this was easy. Here it is:

Tyler Florence's Spaghetti ala Carbonara

1 pound dry spaghetti
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed or sliced into small strips
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
Freshly ground black pepper
1 handful fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped

Prepare the sauce while the pasta is cooking to ensure that the spaghetti will be hot and ready when the sauce is finished; it is very important that the pasta is hot when adding the egg mixture, so that the heat of the pasta cooks the raw eggs in the sauce.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until tender yet firm (as they say in Italian "al dente.") Drain the pasta well, reserving 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce if you wish.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a deep skillet over medium flame. Add the pancetta and saute for about 3 minutes, until the bacon is crisp and the fat is rendered. Toss the garlic into the fat and saute for less than 1 minute to soften.

Add the hot, drained spaghetti to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Beat the eggs and Parmesan together in a mixing bowl, stirring well to prevent lumps. 

Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. Season the carbonara with several turns of freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. Mound the spaghetti carbonara into warm serving bowls and garnish with chopped parsley. Pass more cheese around the table.

Okay, I didn't follow the recipe exactly but close enough to make it work. This was a fantastic recipe. It is easy and very delicious. I thought it might be even tastier if I had used regular bacon. Of course, that would add calories but it would be delish nonetheless.

I recommend it if you are tired of the same old pasta dish. Tom loved it and I know I will be making this again.



  1. I'm drooling just a little bit .. pancetta always looks delicious. Even better using it for carbonara, with the creamy sauce. Dang it's only 9am I've never had pasta for breakfast

  2. That looks so goooood. YUM!!! I have a crush on Tyler so would try any recipe he offers.

    Thanks for stopping! :-)

  3. I'm so glad to see this posted; I really didn't have a good recipe for Carbonara so I appreciate it!

  4. I have to tried this recipe! I'm a Garlic Lover, it looks delicioso!!

  5. I wouldn't eat the pancetta, but the rest of it would be right up my alley. And, uh, I don't have the Food Network App, but better think about it ASAP!

  6. I am on a low carb diet but I will need to break that asap to try this one! Pancetta is one of my favorite things!

  7. So delish and pretty darn easy too! I'll be making this soon thanks to you!