Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara

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  • 8 slices bacon
  • ½ cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 ½ ounces Pecorino Romano, grated (1 ¼ cups)
  • 3 large eggs, plus 1 large yolk
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 pound spaghetti (or if you would like a thicker pasta you can use fettuccini or
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. 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, 5 to 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 tablespoon fat and place in medium bowl. Whisk Pecorino, eggs and yolk, and pepper into fat until combined.
  2. Meanwhile, bring 2 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, reserving cooking water. Pour 1 cup cooking water into liquid measuring cup and discard remainder. Return spaghetti to now-empty bowl.
  3. Slowly whisk ½ 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 to 4 minutes, adjusting consistency with remaining reserved cooking water if needed. Serve immediately.


It’s important to work quickly in steps 2 and 3. The heat from the cooking water and the hot spaghetti will “cook” the sauce only if used immediately. Warming the mixing and serving bowls helps the sauce stay creamy. Use a high-quality bacon for this dish; our favorites are Farmland Hickory Smoked Bacon and Vande Rose Farms Artisan Dry Cured Bacon, Applewood Smoked.

Source: America’s Test Kitchen

The first step is to cook the bacon in water until the water is completely cooked off.

Then you continue to cook the bacon in it’s fat until it is golden brown.

it is critical to properly mix the sauce so that all of the pasta is coated evenly but throughly.

Plated and ready to serve, the Foolproof Spaghetti Carbonara is an awesome recipe.