Put Bacon In It: Pasta Carbonara

I once met a girl who was a vegetarian except for bacon. Because bacon is awesome. Yes it is trendy, but it is also a great way to add some background flavor to soups and stews. Today I begin an occasional column on foods that make use of bacon. Today: Pasta Carbonara.

This is comfort food to the max. It will make you feel full and happy, though I can’t promise it will do your arteries any favors.

Pile of many dry spaghetti noodles on a flat surface.Ingredients

  • 1 lb pasta such as linguini or spaghetti
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 lb bacon (if you’re feeling fancy, get some pancetta)
  • 1.5 cups shredded parmesan cheese
  • At least 5 cloves of garlic, chopped, though please add more if you love garlic
  • Handful of parsley, chopped


1. Cut up the bacon into pieces about 1 inch wide. Toss it into a skillet to cook.

2. While the bacon is cooking, get your pasta water boiling. Don’t forget to salt it!

3. Keep an eye on your bacon. Once it’s crispy, pull it out and set to drain on a paper towel. DON’T dump out the grease in the pan. You need it.

4, Toss the garlic into the pan that had the bacon and cook it. Garlic is tricky since it can get over done very easily. I wouldn’t keep it cooking for more than a minute. After a minute, pull the garlic out and toss it into whatever bowl it is you’re going to serve things in. Now you can get rid of your bacon grease.

5. In your serving bowl, crack the four eggs. Dump in the cheese and mix everything together with a fork. Toss the bacon and garlic on top of that.

6. By now your pasta should be done, or on its way to being done. When it’s done, drain it (reserving 1 cup of liquid). Toss the piping hot pasta into your serving bowl and toss everything together. The hot pasta will cook the eggs.

7. Toss the parsley in. If the pasta sauce is a little thick, use a few spoonfuls of that reserved water to loosen it up a bit. Definitely don’t dump in the entire cup, but just add in a spoonful at a time until you get everything the consistency you would like.

This recipe makes 4 generous portions. I often make this for one by just using 3 slices of bacon, a garlic clove, 1 egg, a handful of cheese, and some parsley. The pasta I just estimate based on what I usually need for a single portion.

By [E] Sally Lawton

My food groups are cheese, bacon, and hot tea. I like studying cities and playing with my cat, Buffy.

13 replies on “Put Bacon In It: Pasta Carbonara”

Ooooh I was just thinking about making some! I had some at a friend’s house last week and he forgot about it for a couple minutes, so we ended up having serving-bowl-shaped spaghetti cake (but it was pretty good so I was curious about it).

And lo and behold, a recipe. Magic.

Gorgeous! I love rosemary in my cabonara, just delicious.

My flatmates used to cook cabonara. It involved a flavour sachet made up of just salt, and 3 pounds of “bacon” which I’m pretty sure was left over pig, coloured pink, shaped into bacon shapes and them liberally salted and pasta. So basically it was salt and pasta and it makes me feel violently ill recalling those meals.

These were also the boys who made “Butter Mince”- which was ground beef, butter chicken flavour, cream and butter. It congealed on the plate into a fatty greasy mass. Ick.

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