Often, when I’ve had a rough day or I’m pulling dinner together late, what I crave is eggs, which are easy to make and light to eat. But there are times when I just don’t want “breakfast for dinner.” I think that’s why spaghetti alla carbonara was invented.
This classic dish is really eggs with bread and bacon, reinvented. The eggs and bacon are tossed with piping hot spaghetti and Parmesan cheese, so that the eggs gently scramble, forming a silky sauce. Spaghetti alla carbonara is just as quick and easy to make as an omelet or frittata, but different enough to make a nice change.
Because this is such a quick dish, the key is having everything ready before you begin cooking, so you can pull it all together very quickly while the spaghetti is still piping hot. I give specific instructions below.
Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Yields: 2-3 servings
Time to make: ~15 minutes
- ½ lb. spaghetti
- 2 slices bacon, diced
- ½ tbsp. olive oil
- 3 eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 2 tbsp. cream or milk (or substitute pasta cooking water)
- ¼ cup Parmesan, grated
- Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place a large bowl in the sink and set a colander on top of it.
Crisp the bacon in the olive oil and set aside when done. Whisk the eggs with the cream, milk or pasta cooking water and set aside. Cook the spaghetti.
When the pasta is done, drain it in the colander. Immediately empty the hot water out of the bowl and add the spaghetti to the bowl. Mix in the eggs and Parmesan. Toss vigorously until the eggs cook through and coat the spaghetti with sauce. Mix in the bacon, and season to taste.
Note: To increase this recipe to 4-6 servings, use 1 lb. spaghetti, 5 eggs and ½ cup grated Parmesan.