I TOLD you it'd be easy! The main dish for Dan and my Valentine's Day dinner? Classic spaghetti carbonara.
Update as of Monday: It's still snowing. Woke up today to a foot of snow outside our front door and there's still more coming in this week. We did NOT get to go to Bob Seger over the weekend because the City of Tacoma decided to postpone it, much to the annoyance of people that had already traveled there. People came from out of state and flew in! Waiting to hear when the reschedule will happen, I still can't wait!
Honestly though, I was perfectly happy not to drive in the snow over the weekend. Instead, we drank mimosas, Irish coffees, and made a snowman. I was joking with Dan saying "Do you want to build a snowmaaaan?". He thought I was insane and apparently has not seen Frozen slash does not hang out with kids often enough. He did watch the live action Beauty and the Beast with last me last night though so 😊.
Moving on to this spaghetti carbonara. My friend Hannah made this for brunch once and I LOVED it. Shocking really because I'm not the biggest bacon fan. I literally had not only a second but a third helping. After the slightly more complicated surf and turf recipe from last year (getting that shell off a lobster is no joke), I thought this spaghetti carbonara would be the perfect simple, quick, and surprisingly easy main course for our Valentine's Dinner this year!
OK so. This recipe is ridiculously simple. Just 4 main ingredients, and about 20 minutes 🙌🏻. The reason people always balk at making spaghetti carbonara is the eggs. You have to add beaten eggs to hot pasta without scrambling them.
Nervous? I got you. If you slowly add tablespoon or so of hot pasta water to the beaten egg mixture (while whisking constantly), this tempers the eggs, heating them up without cooking them prior to pouring them over piping hot pasta. You totally don't have to temper your eggs, but it does help if you're worried about stirring your pasta fast enough while slowly pouring in the egg mixture.
After you've tempered your egg mixture (or not - up to you!) slowly pour onto the pasta and bacon while stirring constantly.
That's it! Mystery solved. Just stir a lot. Once it's combined you're good to go 👍🏻. Valentine's Day dinner is served! (Thank you Hannah!!!). Recipe below 😍.Print
Just 20 minutes to this creamy, easy, comforting pasta recipe. Eggs, spaghetti, cheese, and bacon with a little salt and pepper combine to make this simple yet rich, delicious dish!
- 1 lb spaghetti pasta*
- 8 ounces bacon, diced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + extra for garnish
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- Fresh parsley, roughly chopped to garnish
- Whisk together eggs, parmesan, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Set aside.
- In a large skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add diced bacon and cook 8-10 minutes, until crisp around the edges. Remove from heat. Save 3 tablespoons of the bacon fat and drain the rest. Add reserved bacon fat back to the pan.
- While bacon is cooking, cook spaghetti pasta to al dente according to box instructions. Save 1 cup of the pasta water and drain.
- Add the drained pasta to the pot with the bacon immediately and toss to coat in bacon fat.
- Slowly add one tablespoon of the hot pasta water to the egg mixture, whisking vigorously. (This tempers the egg mixture, heating it up without scrambling the egg, making it easier to add to the pasta).
- Slowly pour the egg mixture into the bacon and pasta pot, stirring constantly until it is completely combined.
- Add 2-3 tablespoons of pasta water at a time, as desired for consistency, stirring until smooth. I added about ½ cup of pasta water total but it depends on what you like!
- Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with parsley and any extra parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
Although pasta carbonara is traditionally made with spaghetti pasta, you can also use linguine, fettuccine, and other long, thinner pasta varieties.