Spaghetti Carbonara from America's Test Kitchen

Chris Allingham

Staff member
Often times I'm disappointed by recipes, but here's one that's fairly easy and delivered a delicious spaghetti carbonara as promised. We'll be making this one again!

Spaghetti Carbonara
Serves 4

  • 8 slices bacon, cut in 1/2" pieces
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced (we used 2 and it was plenty)
  • 2.5 oz. Pecorino Romano cheese, grated finely (1.25 cups)
  • 3 large eggs + 1 additional large yolk
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1 teaspoon salt
Place bacon + water in 10" non-stick skillet. Simmer over medium heat until water evaporates, maybe 8 minutes. Reduce heat to med-low and cook until bacon is browned, 5-8 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Strain bacon/garlic using fine strainer, catching grease in bowl. Set bacon/garlic aside.

Measure 1 Tablespoon of bacon grease and place in medium bowl. Whisk cheese, eggs, additional yolk, and pepper into the bacon fat until combined.

Bring 2 quarts water to a boil in Dutch oven. Place a colander in a large bowl. Add spaghetti + salt to boiling water, stir frequently, cooking until al dente. Drain spaghetti in colander in bowl. Pour 1 cup of cooking water into a liquid measuring cup. Discard remaining water in large bowl, pour drained spaghetti out of colander into the large bowl.

Slowly whisk 1/2 cup of hot cooking water into cheese/egg mixture. Slowly pour cheese/egg/water mixture over spaghetti, using tongs to toss to coat. Add bacon/garlic to spaghetti and toss again to mix. For the next 2-4 minutes, toss the spaghetti several times to coat with the sauce and to help the sauce thicken a bit. Adjust consistency with some of the remaining cooking water, if you feel necessary.

Serve immediately in individual warmed bowls. Enjoy!