Spaghetti alla Carbonara Print Email

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4-8 oz. pancetta or good bacon
1/2 pound dry spaghetti
1 cup fresh real Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated + 1/2 cup for serving (optional)
2-4 eggs, separated*
Black pepper, freshly ground

Preheat oven to 375 F degrees.

Bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 3 tablespoons salt.

Place bacon on baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until bacon is browned and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool a bit. Crumble the bacon to pieces. Reserve the fat and set aside.

When the water boils, cook the spaghetti, until tender, yet al dente, according to instructions on the package. Drain the spaghetti but reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water.

Using the now empty pasta pot, put bacon and fat and warm them over medium heat, then add the pasta, grated cheese, egg whites (* I did not separate the eggs. I used 2 eggs, lightly beaten, and just mixed it right away into the hot pasta – this cooks the eggs a little. But you can use only egg whites at this stage, and add the yolks later before serving) and black pepper and toss well, until warmed through, about 2 minutes.

Divide the pasta among 4 serving bowls. Season with more freshly ground black pepper and additional cheese over the top. Serve immediately. 4 servings - Adapted from a recipe by Mario Batali

*If using separated eggs, make a nest in the center for the egg yolk. Gently drop an egg yolk into each eggshell or directly on top of the pasta.