Pasta alla carbonara

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Pasta alla carbonara

Recipe from Ruth Reichl's new cookbook, My Kitchen Year: 136 recipes that saved my life.


  • 1/4 to 1/2 lb bacon
  • salt
  • 1 lb spaghetti pasta
  • garlic
  • 3 eggs
  • Parmesan cheese
  • pepper


  • Bring a pot of water to a boil, salt it well, and toss in the spaghetti. Most brands of commercial spaghetti take about 10 minutes, which is all the time you’ll need to make the sauce.
  • Cut anywhere from a quarter to a half pound of bacon into small pieces and brown them in a large skillet with a couple of whole peeled cloves of garlic. (The garlic is mainly for the pleasure of the fragrance.)
  • Break the eggs into a big bowl.
  • Grate a generous amount of Parmesan cheese (about half a cup).
  • Cook your pasta al dente.
  • Drain the pasta and immediately plunk it into the bowl with the eggs, tossing frantically so the hot pasta will cook them. Remove the garlic from the bacon and then add the bacon, along with as much of the fat as your conscience will allow. Toss. Add the cheese. Toss again. Add salt to taste.
  • Grind a good amount of pepper over the pasta and serve. You will instantly understand why this quick, easy dish has given so much comfort to so many people.

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