Spaghetti Carbonara with a Twist

April 25, 2011  •  Pasta & Pizza

spaghetti carbonara with toasted garlic breadcrumbs served with a raw egg yolk on topMaybe it’s because my husband and I were alone for Easter yesterday. Or perhaps it’s because my son who is living in New York texted me a picture from his Easter brunch with friends, dining al fresco at Spina. Who knows what drove me to put together this recipe, but it is completely satisfying.In Italy, you’ll see some classic spaghetti dishes on the menu: carbonara (with pancetta and a creamy sauce thanks to an egg yolk), cacio e pepe (a simple dish that pairs cheese and pepper), and aglio e olio (that classic combination of garlic and olive oil. This dish sort of puts the three together, and it starts with spaghetti (I used whole wheat but you can use regular if you wish).Once the pasta is cooked, drain it and reserve about 1/2 cup of the pasta cooking water. In the same pan, heat up the cooked bacon pieces with a little olive oil.Add the pasta to the bacon and toss with toasted garlic breadcrumbs…chopped parsley……grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, the reserved pasta cooking water, and a little more olive oil.It’s important that everything is very hot at this point because you are going to add a raw egg yolk to the dish, and the heat of the pasta and the sauce will cook the egg yolk while it thickens and flavors the sauce.Simply place an egg yolk on top of each dish right as you serve it……and let everyone stir their own egg yolk into the pasta. The egg yolk and pasta water make it just barely creamy, the breadcrumbs add great crunch, and the bacon, parsley and cheese all elevate the flavor. Treat yourself to this twisted carbonara next time you feel you need a little spoiling!

Spaghetti Carbonara with a Twist
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 2
  • 4 ounces whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon cooked crispy and crumbled
  • ½ cup toasted garlic breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 2 whole egg yolks, not broken
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Cook pasta until just barely al dente, then drain, reserving about ½ cup of the pasta cooking water. Add oil to pasta pot and reheat bacon until sizzling. Remove from heat and toss with cooked pasta, breadcrumbs, cheese, parsley and cooking water. Divide between two plates and top each with a whole egg yolk. Serve immediately and let each person stir in the egg yolk to create a rich sauce.



10 Comments  •  Comments Feed

  1. My Kitchen in the Rockies says:

    This is one of my favorite dishes, Michele. You have to try “Fruition’s” version of it! It is deconstructed and with pork belly, just to die for. I have to eat it every time we go.
    I have the same spaghetti in my pantry. Our Costco sells them in a bundle pack.

    • Michele says:

      Carbonara is one of my favorites too! Every time I go to Rome, where it originates from, I end up ordering it several times in just a few days. And I think I might have had the one at Fruition, but it’s been awhile – need to go back!

  2. Karen Harris says:

    I agree with you, this is one of my favorites too. Simplicity at its best.

  3. Barbara | VinoLuciStyle says:

    This dish is one of my two that I love when I want something great but haven’t done a lot of pre-planning. The other is tomato sauce with onion and butter.

    I’ll have to try the wheat pasta (admit to being an avowed Costcoaholic so shop there a lot) and I love the raw egg presentation. Very nice Michele!

    I’ve got pork belly in the freezer, I’m making my own bacon (fingers crossed) so I’ll have a chance soon to try your version.

  4. Jean (Lemons and Anchovies) says:

    Wow, you’ve put together three great pasta dishes on one plate. Carbonara is one of my favorites and you can’t ever go wrong with the other two–this is a winner to me! 🙂

  5. Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking says:

    I love carbonara, and I love your fun idea of letting guests stir in their own egg yolk! I think everyone has so much more fun when they can be interactive with their dish, so thanks for this inspiration! I’m so happy to have found your blog and am looking forward to exploring your recipes. 🙂 – Georgia

  6. Lea Ann says:

    I buy this same Whole Wheat spaghetti and think it’s great. Love this dish, definitely comfort food. Great photos.

  7. Bunny Eats Design says:

    This looks lovely and that little interactive element is a nice touch. I love playing with my food. The more the better 🙂

  8. Carolyn Jung says:

    Bacon, garlic breadcrumbs and a golden egg yolk? What’s not to like? Mmm, all my favorite things all in one big bowl. How I wish I could just dig into this right now.

  9. albert says:

    this is such a great combination of flavors, never really thought to combine the three, as i’m a purist. great photos too!

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