Pasta Carbonara: The Ultimate Comfort Food

My husband and I don’t eat a lot of bacon.  A standard pack of bacon will sit in our fridge until fear of food poisoning kicks in.  BTW, how long can you keep an opened pack of bacon? Fortunately, bacon is an acceptable substitute for guanciale or pancetta, which  means a good excuse for pasta carbonara.  There are variations of this classic Italian recipe but I think that my husband has perfected it. 



Guanciale (an unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig’s jowl or cheeks); otherwise use pancetta or bacon

Yellow Onion ( 1 )

Pecorino Romano

Egg (1)


Black Pepper

Extra Virgin Olive Oil


1 ) Cook pasta according to directions, adding salt to the water.

2 ) Sauté yellow onions.  Chop the pancetta or bacon into small cubes and add into the pan with the onions, when the onions are almost done.  Cook until the bacon cubes are crisp.

3 ) Add the cooked spaghetti into the pan with the onions and pancetta.  Mix well.

4 ) Break the egg in a small bowl and whisk with a bit of milk, then pour into the hot pasta.  The pasta must be warm enough to “cook” the egg.   Note: Adding milk isn’t absolutely necessary but it helps to prevent the egg from turning into scrambled egg and lends a bit of texture.  Mix until the spaghetti is evenly coated.

5 ) Grate fresh pecorino romano on top. Add salt and fresh black pepper to taste.

I really wish I could find a photo of this dish.  Just looking at it will make your mouth water.  For the sake of this blog, I will ask my husband to make this again soon and take a photo next time.


6 responses to “Pasta Carbonara: The Ultimate Comfort Food

  1. simplelifeinfrance

    Yum! incredibly, we just had pasta carbonara for lunch yesterday. I was visiting my husband in the hospital and we decided to grab lunch out. And in this tiny little town, there was just one cafe, and the guy only had one thing to eat: you guessed it.

    It was good! Definitely qualifies as comfort food.

    By the way, why not freeze the extra opened bacon for later? I usually only use a few strips at a time when I use bacon, so that’s what I do.

  2. I’m with SIF–I freeze my bacon too.

    Have you found any good proscuitto in LA? I usually just buy the stuff at Trader Joe’s, but I keep feeling like I’m missing some good stuff. A guy in my meat buying co-op is making his own, but it won’t be ready for another 12 months. Do we have any quality butchers in this town?

  3. I didn’t even know you could freeze bacon. I’m sort of clueless about freezing and defrosting meat in general!

    I think it’s nearly impossible to find quality butchers in L.A. You can get imported prosciutto di Parma (from Whole Foods or other high-end markets). It’s highly regulated so you should be able to get the real thing, which is better than the pre-sliced ones from Trader Joes or anything that’s pre-sliced for that matter. Now finding good pancetta is another story…

  4. This sounds delish. And like one for my son to learn! (The touch of bacon – which I also freeze.)

  5. I just need to say that “I freeze my bacon” makes me laugh.

  6. Not a big bacon fan, but BF could eat it all. the. time.

    Carbonara is one of my fave easy, frugal lunches. I just do it with evaporated milk and some egg, and mushrooms/bacon.

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