Spaghetti alla Carbonara is a rich, egg sauce originally from Rome but is popular everywhere in the world. The traditional Italian sauce did not use cheese, but Americans have come to love Carbonara as a rich, creamy sauce with Parmesan. The traditional Carbonara sauce also used only the heat of the freshly cooked pasta to cook the eggs, however, with the recent concerns of salmonella in raw eggs, this recipe calls for the eggs to be cooked a little. Cook the eggs more if you are concerned and remember that foods with raw eggs are considered safe once they reach 140° F.
- 1 lb spaghetti – any string pasta you like
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 6 oz pancetta or lean bacon chopped
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup half & half or light table cream
- ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons fresh Italian parsley, chopped
Yield: 4 servings
- Bring a large, pasta or stock pot of salted water to a boil, then add the pasta.
- Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottom skillet. Add the chopped pancetta and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, for 8 – 10 minutes. When done, use a slotted spoon and remove a couple of spoonfuls of the pancetta and set aside.
- While the pancetta cooks, beat the eggs with the cream in a small bowl, season to taste with salt & pepper and stir in ¼ cup Parmesan. Drain the pasta and pour into the skillet with the pancetta and turn the heat down to low. Pour in egg/cream mixture and stir constantly for one minute.
- Transfer to a warmed serving dish and top with the extra pancetta, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese and the fresh parsley.
- Serve immediately – Carbonara sauce is one that really is best eaten right after it is prepared.