American Carbonara


Spaghetti Carbonara, the famous Italian pasta dish, has a somewhat murky origin (here’s a little discussion, as a well as a more traditional recipe), but one thing is certain: When it came to America, some of the versions ended up a bit heavy. Cream, I believe, is the culprit, and though some genuine Italian recipes do include cream, I think that creamless Carbonara is the way to go. Pancetta, the traditional meat in the dish, can be hard for some Americans to find, so bacon is commonly used; the smokiness of bacon turns off some purists, but I think it’s perfect to represent the Yankee spirit in this Old World dinner. Use the best eggs you can find, and fancy applewood-smoked bacon is always a nice treat.  I prefer boxed pasta in this recipe for its tooth, and linguine’s extra heft seems to suit the sauce more than spaghetti. It’s simple, easy to make, and surprisingly light.  Eggs and bacon for dinner?  Yes, please! [“And don’t forget Thanksgiving,” says CT]

American Carbonara
serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound thick-cut bacon, sliced 1/2 inch thick
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
2 eggs
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound dried pasta

In a medium nonstick skillet, sauté bacon & red pepper flakes in olive oil over medium flame until bacon is barely crisp. While bacon is cooking, bring salted water to boil in a large stock pot. Cook pasta according to al dente; drain, then return to stock pot and stir in bacon, accumulated oil, and parsley. Whisk eggs & Parmesan in medium bowl, then stir into pasta. Serve in warmed bowls.

Download or View PDF of recipe for printing.

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One Response to American Carbonara

  1. Kristina says:

    I made this amazing dish, and oh boy was it a raging success! It was surprisingly easy to make, even the first time. Once you have the red pepper flakes, the cheese, eggs, you can really make this dish over and over again! I think I’ve made it 5 times in the past 2 months. It is INCREDIBLY DELICIOUS.

    Thank you hungryagain.net!

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