Made in under 20 minutes? Check.
Completely decadent and dreamy? Check.
Worthy of a romantic date night in? Check.
Also worthy of a Netflix binge session? Double check.
Spaghetti carbonara. This is the stuff of dreams, my friends.
Decadent, quick, and low calorie. Okay, okay.. maybe I’m playing two truths and a lie here 😉 but seriously, this dish is a true Italian comfort food, while also being insanely quick and easy to throw together.
It will be ready in twenty minutes- scouts honor!
We’ll start by bringing a large pot of water to a boil.
Once the water is at a rolling boil, toss in 12 ounces spaghetti –not quite the full one pound box. We will cook this for about nine minutes, or until al dente.
**note – al dente refers to the pasta being soft but still retaining some bite to it, it’s literally Italian for “to the tooth.”
While the pasta is cooking, slice the bacon into 1/2-1 inch slices, and add to a skillet on medium-high heat. Cook thoroughly, then remove to a separate plate with a slotted spoon. Reserve 1/4 cup of the bacon grease to toss with spaghetti.
Its also time to whip up that creamy, dreamy egg and parmesan base to your sauce. Beat three eggs + one extra egg yolk, and add 1+1/4 cups densely packed, fresh grated parmesan. Use the best parm that your budget can swing! That salty, nutty flavor really shines in this dish. Give it a good beating, and set aside.
Once the pasta has cooked, steal 1/2 cup of the cooking water to be used later, and strain the spaghetti. Whatever you do, do not forget to snag that starchy water before you pour it all down the drain. Its the ultimate wingman, helping our sauce really bind to our pasta here.
Now, it’s go-time… time to do the dang thing! To our still-hot pan, add the bacon, pasta and bacon grease. Toss together to coat. Things are happening here!
Add the egg + parmesan mixture, a little at a time, while stirring or tossing vigorously. We don’t want scrambled eggs here, so work quickly! If the egg mixture is too dense to pour or stir, add a little of that starchy pasta water to loosen it up.
Add a generous pinch of sea salt, and LOTS of fresh ground black pepper. Give your masterpiece one last good stir, and serve it up!
I top mine with a nice dusting of fresh Parmesan, some extra black pepper, and parsley. That is, if I don’t devour it right out of the pot. I mean, that’s literally never. ever. happened, you guys.
This pasta is rich and creamy and cheesy and eggy.. and then there’s bacon! It’s a perfect late night snack and I bet you have all of the ingredients in your kitchen already… so get to cooking it, already, my hungry friends!
Quick & Easy Spaghetti Carbonara
- 12 oz spaghetti
- 12 oz bacon
- 3 eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 1/4 cups parmesan freshly grated
- extra parmesan to top
- 1/4 c chopped parsley
- Bring large pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt, and spaghetti. Cook until al dente, or about 9 minutes.
- While water comes to a boil, slice bacon into 1/2 – 1 inch pieces. Fry in skillet over medium high heat.
- Once bacon is cooked, remove from pan to a small plate with a slotted spoon. Reserve 1/4 cup bacon grease and set aside.
- Beat the eggs and egg yolk in a medium bowl, and whisk in the parmesan. Set aside.
- When pasta is done cooking, reserve 1/2 cup of the starchy cooking water and strain spaghetti. Add back to the hot large pot with the bacon and the bacon grease. Toss to coat.
- Slowly whisk in the parmesan-egg mixture, working quickly to avoid scrambling the eggs. It will create a creamy sauce with the heat of the spaghetti. If needed, add the starchy cooking water to loosen up the egg mixture if neccessary. Top with a generous pinch of salt and ground black pepper, to taste.
- Serve and top with extra grated parmesan, chopped parsley, and some extra ground black pepper. Mangia!