I came across this recipe a year ago and it quickly became a family favorite. I like it not only for the flavor but because it contains ingredients I always have in my kitchen, plus it is quick and easy to make. Enjoy!
- 4 ounces uncooked spaghetti
- 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
- 4 strips bacon or 2 slices pancetta (Italian bacon), diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup water from pasta or milk (*see note at bottom)
- Crushed red pepper (optional)
2. Meanwhile, beat the egg and egg yolk in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium high heat until it is cooked through, not crisp. Remove it from the pan with a slotted spoon and drain it on paper towels. Leave the bacon fat in the pan and add the olive oil. Heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, just until you smell the aroma. Remove from the heat. Return the bacon to the pan.
4. When the spaghetti is cooked, lift it out of the water with tongs and put it in the saucepan with the bacon. Measure 1 cup of pasta water (or milk) and discard the rest. Place the saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour the hot pasta water over the spaghetti and use tongs to turn the spaghetti over several times. Add the beaten eggs and continue stirring quickly to cook the egg.
5. When the water is almost evaporated, add the salt, black pepper, and cheese. Continue to stir until well-mixed. When the cheese is mostly melted, take the pan off the heat.
6. Plate and serve immediately. Pass the crushed red pepper.
Variation: You may use 1 cup of milk in place of the water (this is what I prefer). But the dish will have more egg flavor if you use water.