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Spaghetti with Bacon and Egg Sauce (Lean Version)

Updated February 23, 2016
(1 Votes)

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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.

6 servings

Cooking Methodsauteeing

CostInexpensive

Moderate

Total Timeunder 30 minutes

Kid FriendlyYes

OccasionFamily Get-together

Recipe Coursemain course

Dietary Considerationpeanut free, soy free, tree nut free

Mealdinner

Moodblue, stressed

Taste and Texturecheesy, creamy, garlicky, meaty, rich, savory

Type of Dishpasta

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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.

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IMHO, too many eggs, two would be enough!

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