Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

January 4: National Spaghetti Day

If Julia Roberts’ character can indulge in a big bowl of spaghetti alla carbonara in the foodie fan film “Eat, Pray, Love,” why can’t we all? We might not have her movie star metabolism and famous figure (or her fitness trainer, personal chef/dietitian, plastic surgeon and makeup artist for that matter). But we now can have a taste of the pasta noodles mixed with a rich, cheesy egg and Italian bacon (pancetta) sauce that she ate in a scene from the movie (the recipe was printed in the August 23, 2010 issue of People magazine). It is super simple to make for a superstar-style supper and for National Spaghetti Day.


(Adapted from People)


  • 1 pound hot cooked spaghetti, al dente (reserve one cup of the cooking water)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) pancetta (cured Italian bacon), diced
  • salt and pepper to taste


Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling, salted water until al dente. Drain the spaghetti in a colander but reserve one cup of the hot cooking water. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs. Mix in the cheeses. Set aside.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Fry the pancetta in a large pan, stirring frequently until crisp. Mix in the spaghetti with the pancetta, tossing until well combined. Remove from heat. Quickly pour in the cheesy egg sauce and coat the spaghetti evenly. Season with salt and pepper. Add some of the reserved cooking water, ¼ cup at a time, to thin out the cheesy egg sauce to a desired creamy consistency. Serve immediately.

Spaghetti alla Carbonara


  • The rich carbonara sauce contains raw eggs but they become somewhat cooked from the heat of the spaghetti and cooking water.
  • The original recipe called for a tablespoon of salt. But we reduced it “to taste” as the sodium in the pancetta adds enough flavoring.
  • Choose a different pasta (such as fettuccine, rigatoni or bucatini) for a variation of this dish.