Lightened Up Spaghetti Carbonara

Joey and I had ourselves a little date night last night, in-home style. It wasn’t planned that way, but then I mentioned this recipe I found for his all-time favorite ‘restaurant’ dish in one of my magazines- Spaghetti Carbonara. Joey immediately perked up at the sound of that for dinner, and it turned into a pretty fun little cooking date! This guy loves him some carbonara…although I’m a little suspicious that he was only the kitchen to make sure I got the recipe right.


Either way, the end result was fab. Fab-ola. Fabuloso. Fantabulistic. Fabulous. You get the point.


This recipe is from a magazine subscription that my mom got for K and I for Christmas two years back called Cooks Illustrated- I would highly recommend (if you are into reading magazines about food) subscribing to this because they basically research all the issues associated with certain recipes, and then tweak things until they come up with ‘The Perfect Version’ ! Basically, they do the work and we readers benefit and save tons of frustration.

Works for me!


I love this recipe because I LOVE pasta, but lots of times the creamy sauce and bacon just puts me in a food coma afterwards. This way, I get the delicious food with a few tweaks that make it fool-proof AND just a tad healthier! ** I should add that Joey definitely liked this dish, but he did miss the creamy factor a little. And didn’t like the whole wheat pasta substitution as much as just regular pasta. Win some, ya learn some! Either way, we will make it again and I always enjoy making dinner with Joe 🙂

Joey would like to add that he’d highly recommend a glass of Merlot to accompany this pasta- you’ll have to take his word for it!




P.S. sorry ’bout the pictures- You basically get to enjoy the same three pictures of the pasta taken at different angles because we were so focused on perfecting the timing of the recipe that we didn’t pause for photo-ops! Maybe you’ll forgive me when you taste the food? 🙂

Better, Lighter Spaghetti Carbonara

serves 4


8 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1/2 cup water

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 1/2 ounces Percorino Romano, grated (1 1/4 cups)

3 large eggs plus 1 large yolk

1 teaspoon pepper

1 teaspoon salt

1 pound spaghetti


Bring bacon and water to simmer in 10 inch nonstick skillet over medium heat; cook until water evaporates and bacon begins to sizzle, about 8 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook until fat renders and bacon browns, about 5-8 minutes longer. Add garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Strain bacon mixture through fine mesh strainer set in bowl. Set aside bacon mixture. Measure out 1 TBSP of fat and place in medium bowl. Whisk Pecorino, eggs and yolk, and pepper into fat until combined.

Meanwhile, bring two quarts water to boil in Dutch oven. Set Colander in large bowl. Add spaghetti and salt to pot; cook, stirring frequently, until al dente. Drain spaghetti in colander set in bowl, reserve cooking water. Pour 1 cup cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder. Return spaghetti to now-empty bowl.

Slowly whisk 1/2 cup reserved cooking water into Pecorino mixture. Gradually pour Pecorino mixture over spaghetti, tossing to coat. Add bacon mixture and toss to combine. Let spaghetti rest, tossing frequently, until sauce has thickened slightly and coats spaghetti, 2-4 minutes, adjusting consistency with remaining reserved cooking water if needed. Serve immediately!


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Filed under Food Stuffs., Fridays

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