Savoring home: You had me at “bacon”.

The title of this post comes from the first time I made this dish for my husband. Since then, it has become an All-Star recipe at our house.  This is the old-school Italian bacon-and-eggs pasta, made of items you probably have in your fridge right now. It is fast, clocking in at around 20 minutes once you have made it a few times.  It is real comfort food. (Did you see the title?)  Without further ado…


(pronounced: kar-bon-NAR-rah)


  • 1 pound/454 grams of spaghetti or linguine or fettucini — We prefer linguine, but any of these three will work.
  • 5 large eggs
  • 2 small cloves or 1 large clove of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 tsp./3 mL ground black pepper
  • 1 cup + more/235 mL + more of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1 pound/454 grams of bacon, fat trimmed and diced —Canadian/British/European readers: this requires “American” or “streaky” bacon. Americans: don’t bother with turkey bacon here, use the real thing and enjoy it!

Trim most, but not all, of the fat from the bacon.


  1. Start pasta water to boil.  Add a palmful of salt to water, then put in pasta to boil for “al dente” directions on the pasta box.
  2. During pasta boil, cook/render bacon in pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes.
  3. Grate garlic cloves into pan and mix well with bacon.
  4. Continue to cook bacon until crispy, about 6-7 minutes, then remove pan from heat.  Don’t remove bacon from pan or drain.
  5. While bacon is cooking, whisk 5 eggs and pepper well in a small bowl.
  6. When pasta is done, drain, immediately return to hot pot and pour in egg mixture.

    "Raw eggs into cooked pasta?!" Stay with me...I won't make you eat raw eggs!

  7. Use tongs to toss egg mixture thoroughly as it cooks/scrambles in the hot pasta.  Be sure to toss the noodles at the bottom of the pot thoroughly to ensure all the eggs scramble.

    Work those forearm muscles! Keep tossing as the egg cooks on the pasta. You can watch it happen.

  8. Add all bacon and bacon oil to pasta and toss well.

    You need all the bacon oil to help with the tossing. The bacon clings to the bottom of the pot.

  9. Add parmesan cheese and toss well. You can add more cheese here, if you want, but not too much or you won’t taste the bacon.
  10. Serve immediately.


  • Makes 4-5 servings.
  • Need a veg?  Try a simple green salad with a tangy Italian dressing or mix some freshly cooked green peas into the pasta when you add the cheese.  Delicious!
  • Carbonara does not freeze well, but re-heats from fridge well for up to two days.

Sound easy for your weekend? Let me know how it turns out for you!  The picture are a little unbalanced in the focus/light area, and I’ll try to improve this for future recipes. European readers: I heard your request and added the metric for the ingredients list! Does this format work for you?

Posted on April 8, 2011, in Food, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I tried it and it was great! I read this post this morning and wanted to give it a try. I happened to have all of the ingredients but garlic, but I got some and tried it. After narrowly avoiding spilling pasta water on my laptop (my printer is out of ink), I managed to get everything together and it tastes really good. Thanks for the great recipe!

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