spaghetti carbonara

June 17, 2013 § 36 Comments


And yet, another pasta recipe.  You see I have a thing about pasta.  I would eat it everyday if I wasn’t thinking too hard about all the carbs I don’t need.  After an extra long commute home the other day, I arrived, said my hello’s and headed to the kitchen.  I didn’t have a dinner plan whatsoever.  Looking through the refrigerator I found a little log of chavrie goat cheese, a little pancetta, a handful of parsley, a shallot and by this time a pasta sauce was formulating in my mind.  I thought if I had Parmesan instead of goat cheese I could make Carbonara.  Then I remembered I do have some Grana Padano!   Realizing I have never made carbonara I took my copy of Marcella Hazen’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking off the shelf.

Now let just say when I was “with child” spaghetti carbonara was “my dish”.  I craved it everyday and dined on it at least once a week for a good six months!  And to imagine I have never made carbonara is quite nonsensical.   I left it up to the chef at my favorite trattoria.  I didn’t even want to try to prepare it because I knew I could never match the quality of La Trattoria’s carbonara.  Well…Eureka!  Success in the kitchen.  Here it is, in my humble opinion, a most delicious carbonara.  Of course in the spirit of improv I made a few very minor adjustments to Marcella’s recipe due to not having all of her listed ingredients.  In place of the Grana Padana you could use a good quality Parmesan.

I n g r e d i e n t s

  • 4 ounces of diced pancetta
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Grana Padano cheese
  • Black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 3/4 pound spaghetti

M e t h o d

Place a large pot of water on the stove over high heat.  Once your water is at a roaring boil add a tablespoon of coarse grain salt and drop your pasta in. Cook until al dente,  spaghetti cooking time is approximately 9 minutes. Drain, reserving 1/4 cup of pasta water.


Put the garlic and olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat.  Sauté until the garlic is golden.  Remove and discard garlic.  Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until crispy, then add the shallot.  Continue to cook until shallots are soft and turn off the heat.

Using a fork lightly beat two eggs in a medium size bowl.   Add 1/2 cup grated Grana Padano, a grinding of black pepper and the chopped parsley. Once the spaghetti is cooked, slowly drizzle in reserved pasta water until smooth. Mix thoroughly, using something like these!


Briefly reheat the pancetta over medium high heat, turn off the pan and add spaghetti, toss to combine well.  Add the egg mixture and continue to toss to combine and allow the egg to set without scrambling.  Serve right away with freshly grated Grana Padano cheese.

Serves 4.

buon appetite.


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