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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara

I’ve made Pioneer Woman’s Spaghetti Carbonara, the real thing with raw eggs and cheese(no cream) twice  , and loved it twice.

The first time I cooked this, Mike didn’t eat it, cos I cooked it at my Mother’s. And this time, he said, “It’s a waste that you’re not doing business with this…” and continued to shove the spaghetti into his mouth

But she put in so much parmesan.. a bit too expensive for me, so I substituted it with the cheapo cheese powder(Formaggio de Pasta) and sliced cheddar. Works wonders for me : ).
And I chose not to use wine or stock. Bacon and onions are flavourful enough for me, therefore, I find there is no need to use stock, but feel free to use stock if you want. The end product is not dry…. and the coating of gravy is just nice, like cream sauce pasta, but no cream is used here.

Spaghetti Carbonara
Recipe adapted from Pioneer Woman Cooks
Serves 2

170gm spaghetti (1/3 pack)
100gm streaky bacon, cut small
1 small onion, about 50gm unpeeled weight, coarsely chopped
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 cup water
½ tsp salt
2 eggs
2 slices cheddar cheese, chopped
2 Tbsp cheese powder/finely grated parmesan
Handful of chopped parsley

1. Put bacon into pan and cook on medium low heat until golden. The bacon will release a lt of oil. Remove bacon from the oil (renderings :p)
2. Put in chopped onions into the pan (still with the oil) and sauté until soft and put in sliced garlic and sauté until golden. Dish up (w/o oil)
3. Pour away the oil and heat the pan until hot again and put in water. Bring the water to a boil and put in 2/3 of the bacon and all the fried onions+garlic. Season with salt (has to be slightly oversalted) Simmer on medium heat for 3 minutes. (You can do this step in advance while waiting for dinner time)
4. Bring a pot of water to boil,.
5. While waiting for the water to boil, mix eggs, chopped cheese slices, cheese powder, black pepper and parsley together.
6. When water had boiled, cook spaghetti according to instructions on packaging. (better bring the bacon gravy back to boil now and keep it warm on low heat)
7. Pour everything from the pot into a colander (fishing out the spaghetti takes time, so better pour them out).
8. Shake the colander a few times and quickly pour the very hot spaghetti into the egg mixture. Pour in the hot bacon gravy and toss everything. It’ll look soupy. Toss, toss, toss. Throw in the remaining 1/3 of crispy fried bacon.
9. Leave the pasta in the bowl for 10 minutes, so that the eggs and cheese will thicken and coat the spaghetti well. (you won’t see the “soup” after 10 mins)
10. After 10 mins, give it a final toss and serve.


  1. Thanks for sharing the changes you made. If I ever want to make this and I don't feel like splurging, I will definitely do it your way. Hmm, on second thought maybe I'll make it this Friday for my youth group, girl's night out, potluck! Btw, when you mix in the egg mixture with the pasta it cooks because the pasta is very hot right? So it's safe enough to eat the eggs? Thanks in advance. :) This sounds and looks really good.

  2. Omg! This looks so good! I'm always looking out for a good carbonara pasta recipe and thanks for sharing this! I'm definitely going to try this out soon.

  3. My princess loves carbonara pasta very very much. Whenever we go out for dinner, she will request for carbonara. But MIL and hubby says it's fattening, so, nowadays will cook it for her when hubby goes outstation. Ha Ha.

  4. Looks awesome Wendy! I love it with lots of freshly shredded Parmesan. It is not that expensive here Down Under!!!

    p/s: Wrong link back to PW though. It should be this:

    and not the twice baked potatoes one, hehe!

  5. Esther,
    The hot pasta will cook the eggs. Which is why you have to pour the pasta in as quick as you can after proper draining. Eggs are safe to eat once it reaches 65C.
    Hope the your friends will like this.

    Hope you like this

    Belly Good Cooking,
    Once a while is fine, but not often. LOL.

    Thanks for telling.
    I didn't know why the link was directed there, but I've repaired it.

  6. I am going to cook this for my sons and watch them go to heaven with every mouthful:D Thanks for sharing!

  7. This is one of my favorite pasta but only cook in once a while. Your pasta makes me hungry now!

  8. Wendy, this looks so delicious! Exactly just like the Italian restaurant serving!

  9. This is my daughter's favourite. She cooked it for us for Christmas sweet. We all liked it very much.

  10. I didn't know how to appreciate Carbonara till I ate in one restaurant in Mid Valley. Ever since then, I am game enough to try and most often, it is disappointing. I guess home made is a total diff ball game.

  11. Jeannie,
    Ask them to get back to earth after they have finished eating, LOL.

    Kitchen Corner,
    LOL. But then have you finished your special Italian flour? If not, why not make some again :p


    You daughter must be a very good cook. Lucky mom :)

    I'm not sure abt the version you tried. But I've seen a lot of non authentic version in Malaysia, mostly adorned with cream.

  12. wow this looks absolutely delicious! i like how it uses water instead of cream which makes it healthy

  13. This is my fav way of making pasta too. Just garlic, pancetta, egg yolk and cheese. No cream or wine whatsoever.

  14. My favourite! I love Carbonara sauce very much, and this recipe looks interesting. Wanna try this weekend :)

  15. i wish i could just have this for supper now. Glad that you're sharing another method of preparing this pasta sauce and boiling them altogether. i want to ask you about the 'formaggio' brand, does that taste very'cheesy'..i cant take too cheesy taste.

  16. whoa carbonara...super indulgent! last monday went to italian restaurant for my mom's b'day. she had carbonara, ok high cholestrol but whatever b'day girl want she got it. she was kinda surprise when her carbonara came with a separate raw egg yolk...actually we're all surprise. she drops the yolk on surface and give a good toss. i thought is gonna be creamy n yolky like hell (not that i mind cause i'm raw egg yolk person), taste it n wow interesting. i know there must be some cream in it but not sure cause the cheese manage to masked the raw egg flavour.

    if your hubby said that is good enuf for business then this carbonara meant a serious business! i'm so gonna cook this cause no cream needed (thank goodness!). anyway, was that coriander you are using or parsley? looks like coriander to me. were you using cheesedale cheddar cheese?

    why cheese has to be so pricey in Malaysia? *sigh*

  17. I love this with lots of bacon inside!

  18. Hey, you'r tempting me to make this lah...I thought it should be quite complicated to make! But I normally avoid bacon at home, looks fattening. Where do you usually get your bacon btw?

  19. oh delish, your pictues are just fab too. I make alot of her stuff with very good results.

  20. Wow this looks so scrumptious. I was just thinking of making carbonara today. What great timing. I'm gonna cook this for dinner tonight...=)

  21. Jean,
    Actually real carbonara has no cream. Only thickened by eggs and cheese.

    No pancetta here, at least in Ipoh ler.

    Hope u like it.

    I'm a gila dairy person. If it's not cheesy to me, it might be cheesy for you. But to me, okla. It's something like Pizza hut's cheese powder.

    Egg yolks are super nice raw with noodles. Even when I eat tenzaru soba/chasoba, the egg yolk is a must for me. Something seems missing if the restaurant don't give it to me.
    It's not coriander. Coriander will be much smaller. It's flat leafed parsley. Not the english frilly parsley. Just use "Kan choy" if you can't get the flat leafed version at the fresh herbs section of the supermarket. Yeah, mine was Chesdale, but Kraft or Motherhood will work fine. Aiya, even fresh milk is so expensive here oredi, what more cheese la. Even the Indian man's milk is like RM3 for 500ml.

    Haha, no pork no life!, Haha, live life to the fullest.

    Not using much bacon la. Expensive. Not eat everyday ma. Once a while only. I'm sure this has less fat than 2 pieces pisang goreng. LOL.

    I don't visit much of her site anymore, due to "worms" and "trojan horses" on her site.

    Hope u love it.

  22. Jenn@ChasingFoodDreamsJanuary 13, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Wendy, I think your hubby is right! You are such a creative and fabulous cook and maybe you can cater from home on part time.. :)

    My favorite pasta is carbonara so this recipe posted at a super right time.. will be trying it out this weekend!

  23. hey me too, it's weird right when no egg yolk given. i'll be mumbling to myself n spoil my whole eating experience. however, some places they dun give egg yolk, i guess they wanna save cost. ahhh, so it's flat leaf parley...stupid me lah didn't recognised it. ok 'kan choy' easily available so i'll use that. gosh, talk bout fresh milk...i wanna vomit blood. i'm fresh milk person n need it to make yoghurt but lately it has been getting pricier. honestly what wrong with the nation's cow?! *moooo*

  24. Lisa.L,
    Once I ate at Shangrila KL, they didn't give me the quail egg for my tenzaru soba, then when I asked for it, they say it's the hotel's policy never to serve raw eggs. I guess they are just playing safe la.
    The cow's are not drinking enough water, so no susu!!! Got see Astro's advertisement or not? Hahaha, lembu mesti minum banyak air, baru ada susu, baru boleh buat rava ladoo!! Hahaha.

  25. i always use nigella's method. winner! it's the same, egg yolk + cheese.. yummeh

  26. Looks absolutely divine! I love the version where they have an egg yolk on it when they are serving and u just prick and mix it to the pasta!

  27. Wendy, I tried your carbonara recipe two nights ago and it was lovely! My husband said it tasted so much better than the creamy ones served in restaurants.

    Thank you for sharing the recipes. This is a fantastic blog!

  28. Michelle G,
    Thanks and glad both u and ur hubby enjoyed it :)

  29. I have tried it and the whole family loved it.
    What shall I say? Thank you of course! :)

  30. Angeline,
    You're most welcomed and I'm happy that your whole family enjoyed it.

  31. Wendy, my boys went to heaven and came back twice already lol! They are pestering me to make again! *eyes rolling*

  32. Wendy,

    Thanks again for another must-keep recipe.. i tried doing it twice this week and my 6 yr old daughter is asking me to do it again today for her!

    This is really a simple yet delicious recipe...


  33. Hi Wendy,

    I can't wait to try this healthier version of carbonara sauce!

    What do you think if I substitute the bacon with canned tuna? We don't take pork.


  34. lilian,
    authentic carbonara doesn't use cream actually.
    If you use canned tuna, the taste will not be as awesome for sure. You can use beef bacon.

  35. Mmm. Just followed your recipe for lunch. I'm a happy girl. Thanks.

  36. Rachel Page,
    Thanks for trying, and for the feedback :)
    Glad you liked it

  37. This is our fav pasta. Simple and easy to make.


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