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sauteeing Italian
Spaghetti with Bacon and Egg Sauce (Lean Version) Recipe-7834

Photo by: Joseph DeLeo
Comments: 1


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.

Yield: 4-6 servings


  • 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.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

526kcal (26%)
180mg (18%)
0mg (1%)
90mcg RAE (3%)
204mg (68%)
1527mg (64%)
8g (39%)
22g (34%)
3mg (19%)

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  • Fogtownrog

    03.23.10 Flag comment

    IMHO, too many eggs, two would be enough!


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