Author Notes: Ok, last one I promise. It's just that this contest speaks to me since pretty much every night is dirt cheap dinner night around here. Spaghetti carbonara has become me and my husband's signature dish. We clearly didn't invent the dish, but we've perfected our version over the years, working to get the ratios right and to achieve that silken perfection. It's also our number one go to cheap pantry meal since all we need to get for it is bacon (and often we have that on hand too). I even once made a really excellent veg version using fake bacon, if you're into that kind of thing. —kmartinelli
pound spaghetti (preferably DeCecco)
ounces bacon or pancetta, roughly chopped
small onion, chopped
cloves garlic, finely chopped
Salt and freshly ground pepper
- Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain, reserving a cup of the pasta water, and set aside.
- Add the bacon to a large, hot pan and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and slightly crispy. Drain some of the fat if necessary. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 8 minutes. Carefully transfer the spaghetti to the pan and toss to coat the pasta.
- Remove the pan from the heat and crack one egg over the spaghetti. Using tongs, vigorously toss the pasta until the egg is fully incorporated and the pasta is coated (if the pan is too hot or the spaghetti is not mixed vigorously enough you’ll end up with scrambled eggs). Repeat with remaining two eggs.
- Add the Parmesan and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
- The spaghetti should be fully coated and have a sheen. If it needs more moisture mix in a little pasta water at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Serve in a bowl and top with additional grated Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner