- Course: Main Course
- Total Time: Under 30 Minutes
- Skill Level: Moderate
- Cost: Inexpensive
- Favorited: 22 Times
Spaghetti alla Carbonara di Magro
I have heard several theories about the origins of this dish, but whatever its true history, carbonara (from carbone, or coal) presumably refers to the generous sprinkling of coal-like black pepper over the dish. The Italians make this dish with pancetta, a subtly spiced, not smoked, variety of bacon. Canadian ham or lean bacon substitutes nicely.
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 large cloves garlic, bruised
- 1/3 pound diced pancetta, ham, or lean bacon
- 5 eggs
- ¾ cup freshly grated parmigiano
- Salt to taste
- Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
- 1½ tablespoons salt, for cooking pasta
- 1 pound spaghetti
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, combine oil and garlic, and cook until garlic is golden; do not allow it to brown, or it will impart a bitter flavor to the sauce. Add pancetta, ham, or bacon to skillet and sauté until golden. If excessively fatty, drain off all but 2 tablespoons of the pan drippings and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat eggs, cheese, and salt and pepper to taste, and set aside. Bring 4 to 5 quarts of water to a rapid boil. Add the 1½ tablespoons salt and pasta and stir immediately, continuing to stir frequently to prevent pasta ribbons from sticking together. When spaghetti is al dente, drain it, taking care not to overdrain; it should still be dripping when transferred to a serving bowl, or pasta will be too dry.
Immediately add reserved egg mixture—pasta must be at its hottest in order for eggs to “cook.” Add ham or bacon and the 2 tablespoons drippings; toss together. Serve immediately—this dish must be eaten piping hot.
© 1991 Julia della Croce
Note from Cookstr's Editors
Nutritional information is based on 6 servings and includes 1/8 teaspoon of added salt per serving.