Cooking with Solveig: Pasta Carbonara

The following is a very simple guideline to carbonara. Using bucatini pasta is an excellent upgrade - I would suggest to make 1.5 times or double the sauce if you go to this or any other dense pasta noodle.

We used thick cut bacon and cut it into 1⁄2-inch pieces so that it could render and become golden in our class period. Using freshly ground Parmigiano-Reggiano makes this dish, so please don’t skimp! We used fresh pasta in class which allows us to cook the pasta very quickly and bring it directly from the boiling water to the saute pan. You can calculate the same process with dried pasta, just remember it takes longer for dry pasta to cook.

If you want to cook and drain the pasta, be sure to reserve a few cups of the pasta water to build your sauce - it’s crucial to the dish.

4 entree portions


  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 2 T evoo
  • 4 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more Freshly ground black pepper
  • Freshly chopped herbs for garnish, optional
  • Salt and a squirt of vinegar for the pasta water Reserved hot pasta water

Fresh Pasta Class Recipe:

  • Fresh Pasta Class Recipe 2 entree portions
  • 6 ounces fresh pasta 1T evoo
  • 2 ounces thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1⁄2 c freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more freshly ground black pepper
  • freshly chopped herbs for garnish, optional
  • Salt and a squirt of vinegar for the pasta water Reserved hot pasta water
  1. In a medium bowl, prepare the sauce by whisking the eggs and Parmesan cheese together. Having the sauce ready to go on the hot pasta is key so that the raw eggs cook into a sauce. Watch your pan temperature, though, so that you don’t end up with scrambled eggs!
  2. Bring a large pot of salted water (we add a splash of vinegar or a squeeze of lemon to the water to change the Ph to help prevent noodles from sticking) to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving at least 2 cups of the starchy cooking water to use in the sauce. (I prefer to time cooking the pasta so that I can take it right to the saute pan from the pasta water, especially if using fresh pasta like we do in class.)
  3. Meanwhile, In a saute pan over medium heat, add the evoo. Add meat and saute for about 3 minutes until golden and a bit crisp. Lower the heat in the pan - add garlic into the fat and saute until fragrant (less than 1 minute).
  4. Add the hot, drained pasta to the pan and toss for 2 minutes to coat the strands in the bacon fat. Whisk your sauce again to remove any lumps. Remove the pan from the heat and pour the egg/cheese mixture into the pasta, whisking quickly until the eggs thicken, but do not scramble (this is done off the heat to ensure this does not happen.) Thin out the sauce with a bit of the reserved pasta water, until it reaches desired consistency. The sauce will thicken as it sits and you may want to refresh your pasta with the hot pasta water to make it easier for serving.
  5. Season the carbonara with freshly ground black pepper and taste for salt. The girls discovered that Parmesan was the answer for more salt so be careful seasoning at the end as to not get an over salted dish.
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