Pasta Carbonera

This recipe uses very little meat, but even die-hard carnivores love it.  When I make it, I double the amounts given here, and we rarely have any leftovers.  I sometimes add diced tomato or sweet pepper for more color and flavor.

Pasta Carbonera
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Serves 6



  • 1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente.
  • 1/2 pound of bacon
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 T. fresh basil or sage leaves, chopped fine (or use 1-2 tsp dried)
  • 2 eggs
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan (optional)

Cook spaghetti according to package directions, draining and setting it aside when done. While spaghetti cooks, chop bacon into 1/2 inch chunks and cook in a heavy skillet until nicely crispy. As you are waiting for the bacon to cook, mince the onion very finely, chop the sage or basil, and peel the garlic. Once bacon is crispy, remove it from the pan and set aside in a small bowl.

Do NOT dump out the bacon drippings, because that’s where this recipe gets its flavor. In the bacon drippings in the same pan, cook the minced onion, sage or basil, and garlic over medium heat until the onion is soft. By now your pasta is probably done. Pour the onion, garlic, and bacon drippings over the hot pasta and toss well.

Crack the two eggs into a small bowl and whisk well. Now you are going to pour those eggs over your still-hot pasta, stirring the pasta quickly so that the eggs coat the pasta as evenly as possible. It is important that the pasta still be steaming hot for this step, since it is the heat from the pasta that will cook the eggs. Season with salt and plenty of black pepper to taste.  Top with grated Parmesan cheese if you wish.

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