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Mer's Spaghetti Carbonara

I'm a late-comer to the world of Carbonara, but when I had a taste of my friend Meredith's famous version, I realized I'd spent too much of my life not eating cheesy pasta with bacon on it. When I began researching recipes there are a million ways to make it, so I went straight to the source. I called up Mer and she walked me through this process below. I've made it several times since, and every time it's been silky, salty, cheesy perfection. The key is not to let the egg touch the pan for too long as you toss, otherwise it'll scramble and be lumpy. Top with optional green peas and be prepared for your new favorite dinner.


Note: The ingredients in this description are for 2 people. As Mer says - if you have more people, add an egg per person, plus an equal amount of cheese in your "paste" and proceed

  • 1/2 box of Spaghetti alla Chittara (if you can't find this special cut, you can use regular spaghetti - the starchier the better)

  • Pasta water! (I say this now so you don't forget when you drain the pasta)

  • 4-5 slices bacon, chopped to 1/2" strips

  • 1 room temperature egg + 1 room temp egg yolk

  • Lots of fresh ground pepper

  • 1/4 cup (plus more as needed) Pecorino Romano (you can use parmesan, but pecorino is the best)

  • 3/4 cup Frozen green peas, defrosted & drained


  1. Boil water for pasta & cook pasta according to package directions for al dente

  2. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a small fry pan until crispy, remove from pan to a plate lined with paper towels & set aside

  3. While the bacon and the pasta are each cooking, combine the egg, egg yolk, cheese, and pepper in a small bowl. Mix well - it should look kinda like a paste (not liquid)

  4. When the pasta is finished cooking, dip a glass measuring cup (or equivalent) into the pan and reserve at least 1/2 cup pasta water, then drain the pasta.

  5. Return pasta to pan, sprinkle bacon onto pasta, then being careful not to let the paste touch the pan, dump the paste into the center of the pasta

  6. QUICKLY toss the pasta, adding a few TBS of pasta water as you go to loosen and melt the paste. The eggs and cheese will cook/melt as you toss the hot pasta, but the key is to toss quickly so the hot pan doesn't have time to scramble the eggs

  7. Once coated and silky, add the green peas and toss again. Salt to taste (if it needs it).

  8. Top with (optional) more cheese and serve immediately


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