We brighten this traditional favorite with lemon juice and a little red pepper heat. This Italian dish uses hard cheese—like Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano—and relies on the starchy hot water and the pasta's heat to cook the eggs.
Spaghetti Carbonara Video
- 6 ounces smoked bacon, chopped
- ½ cup chopped yellow onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 12 ounces spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 extra-large yolks + 1 whole egg, room temp
- 1 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- ½ small lemon
- ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- In a large skillet with Teflon™ nonstick coating, cook bacon just until it begins to crisp; remove all but a little grease in pan.
- Lightly brown onions and then add the garlic and brown for just a minute longer. Remove pan from heat.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente and reserve ½ cup of the starchy water.
- Drain & coat spaghetti lightly with olive oil to keep from sticking together; add it to the pan and toss with bacon and onions.
- Whisk eggs with ¾ of the cheese; pour over spaghetti and toss lightly.
- Slowly add in the ½ cup of reserved pasta water to the spaghetti mixture.
- Squeeze lemon juice over everything; add pepper, parsley, and any remaining cheese and serve immediately.