This is the first time I’ve tried making Italian food since moving back to Texas in July. I’d been putting it off, probably because I’m scared it won’t taste the same and I’ll forget all those tastes I grew so used to over the last three and a half years. Better to keep things in your memory than taint that memory all together, right?

But I just really needed Carbonara. I always think of Carbonara as the “breakfast pasta” just because of the eggs and bacon. It is a pretty silly association since the creamy egg sauce is more delicious than breakfast could ever hope to be (sorry, breakfast–you’re not my favorite meal).

This Epicurious recipe did not disappoint! I would make one change to the recipe–garlic. It needs garlic, but besides that the sauce tasted perfect!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara from Epicurious

5 oz guanciale, pancetta, or bacon
1 medium onion, finely chopped
garlic, minced (I would probably add two to four cloves, but I like a lot of garlic)
¼ cup dry white wine
1 lb spaghetti
3 large eggs
1 ½ oz Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (3/4 cup)
¾ oz Pecorino Romano, finely grated (1/3 cup)
1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt

Cut guanciale, pancetta, or bacon into 1/3-inch dice, then cook in a deep 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat, stirring, until fat begins to render, 1 to 2 minutes. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add garlic in the last few minutes of onion cooking (you don’t want it to burn). Add wine and boil until reduced by half, 1 to 2 minutes.

Cook spaghetti in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

While pasta is cooking, whisk together eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano , Pecorino Romano, black pepper, and salt in a small bowl.

Drain spaghetti in a colander and add to onion mixture, then toss with tongs over moderate heat until coated. Remove from heat and add egg mixture, tossing to combine.

Top with additional graded parmesan and serve immediately.

 Don’t forget the extra parmesan!


  1. I’ve made this a couple of times recently but the sauce has been quite runny. Its a vegetarian on a student budget type deal as well so i didn’t have all the fancy cheeses.

    did it remind you of italy when you tasted it?

    ps. do you want to send xmas cards this year? i bought some lovely ones yesterday x

    • Alyssa Reply

      Yes it’s the expensive cheese that really makes the sauce! It is much more expensive here than in Italy too :(

      I was already planning on sending you a card! I think I’ve got a half-written letter from before our move sitting around here somewhere too…

    • Alyssa Reply

      Yes they are! My owl collection is in the double digets now. My friend Genevieve gave them to me for Christmas; I believe they are from Pier 1!

  2. I just love spaghetti alla carbonara. It’s become quite a regular at our new house.

    I tend to think of it as breakfast related too, for the exact same reasons!

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