Spaghetti Carbonara

Servings: 4

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.


  • 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


  1. In a large skillet with Teflon™ nonstick coating, cook bacon just until it begins to crisp; remove all but a little grease in pan.
  2. Lightly brown onions and then add the garlic and brown for just a minute longer. Remove pan from heat.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta to al dente and reserve ½ cup of the starchy water.
  4. Drain & coat spaghetti lightly with olive oil to keep from sticking together; add it to the pan and toss with bacon and onions.
  5. Whisk eggs with ¾ of the cheese; pour over spaghetti and toss lightly.
  6. Slowly add in the ½ cup of reserved pasta water to the spaghetti mixture.
  7. Squeeze lemon juice over everything; add pepper, parsley, and any remaining cheese and serve immediately.