5 Ingredients or Fewer

Spaghetti Carbonara Frittata

May  1, 2021
11 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 25 minutes
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Serves 4
Author Notes

This Big Little Recipe takes the same ingredient list as classic spaghetti carbonara, but reworks the quantities and technique so you end up with—ta da!—a frittata. While the Roman original must be eaten as soon as it’s ready (the sauce goes from silky to gloopy as it sits), this frittata is infinitely more flexible. Have it hot, warm, at room temperature, or straight from the fridge the next day (if a leftover pasta frittata sandwich with chile mayo is wrong, I don’t want to be right). And because it’s hands-off as soon as it goes in the oven, it’s a great dish to make if you’re having company. I snagged this smart cooking method from chef Andrew Feinberg, who taught me that a low-and-slow heat yields the tenderest, creamiest frittata in all the land. Once you start making it this way, you’ll never go back to that stovetop-broiler combo. A note about substitutions: Feel free to swap out the pancetta for bacon or guanciale. Same goes for pecorino, which can be replaced with parmesan. —Emma Laperruque

What You'll Need
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for the pasta water
  • 5 ounces spaghetti
  • 4 ounces diced pancetta (about ¾ cup)
  • 10 large eggs
  • 2 ounces pecorino, finely grated, preferably with a Microplane (the volume varies so widely with finely grated cheese, but figure about 1 cup)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to sprinkle on top
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  1. Heat the oven to 300°F.
  2. Fill a medium pot with water and set on the stove over high heat to come to a boil. When it does, add a generous amount of salt (I estimate about 1 tablespoon salt per quart of water), then the spaghetti. Cook until just al dente (about 8 minutes) since it’ll continue to cook in the frittata.
  3. While the water is coming to a boil, cook the pancetta in a 10-inch, oven-safe, nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Cut the heat and let the pancetta hang out where it is to cool a bit.
  4. Combine the eggs, pecorino, black pepper, and ¼ teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Add the cooled pancetta, plus any rendered fat, and whisk to combine. No need to wash the pan—we’re using it again in a second.
  5. When the pasta is done, drain it in a colander, then add it to the skillet along with the butter. Toss until the butter is melted and the pasta is coated. Shake the pan a bit to make sure the pasta is spread out in an even layer. Now pour the egg mixture on top, taking care to make sure the pancetta is as evenly distributed as possible. Sprinkle more black pepper on top.
  6. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until the frittata is just set (bouncy to the touch, no longer jiggly in the center)—rotating halfway through and checking frequently toward the end to avoid overcooking.
  7. Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature. Any leftovers can be refrigerated and turned into very good sandwiches with chile mayo.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • boulangere
  • Rosalind Russell
    Rosalind Russell
  • Emma Laperruque
    Emma Laperruque
  • Bethany Foresman
    Bethany Foresman
Emma was the food editor at Food52. She created the award-winning column, Big Little Recipes, and turned it into a cookbook in 2021. These days, she's a senior editor at Bon Appétit, leading digital cooking coverage. Say hello on Instagram at @emmalaperruque.

12 Reviews

Bethany F. February 26, 2022
Not sure how pasta baked in egg earns the title carbonara. After eating I went back to the recipe to see if I missed something. I didn’t. Overall only mediocre. But, my eight year loved it.
echildress March 19, 2020
This was absolutely amazing! The way it was slow cooked brought out the flavor of the applewood bacon that I used instead of the pancetta. I also added a very light sprinkling of flaked sea salt on top along with the pepper. Overall the best spaghetti Carbonara I've had, even if it was a frittata.
Emma L. March 20, 2020
Yay, thanks for making it!
Linda D. October 4, 2019
Thanks again Emma, for a simple, savory, and satisfying meal. Yum!
Emma L. October 4, 2019
Thanks so much, Linda!
boulangere May 12, 2019
boulangere May 12, 2019
Rachel Ray posted a similar, and surprisingly better, more tender, version close to two years ago.
Rosalind R. May 13, 2019
She cheated and uses milk. Carbonara has no milk. Ray's is closer to an Italian style baked mac and cheese than it is to carbonara.
Rosalind R. May 10, 2019
What a great idea! I love frittatas and I love spaghetti carbonara, but as the author points out, carbonara is best eaten straight away, so this solves my problem of substandard leftovers! I live in the food hell of Arizona, where pancetta is a rare and exotic item, so I use the nice thick bacon from the grocery store meat counter. I cannot wait to make this to have for dinner and breakfast!
Emma L. May 10, 2019
Yay hope you enjoy!
Rosalind R. May 11, 2019
I may just slip some goat cheese in when I make this tonight, because goat cheese is lovely with pasta and parmesan. It adds an additional, subtle dimension.
David K. May 14, 2019
Let's just say 'more flexible' - not infinitely. Thank you. Great dish either way.