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Marcella Hazan's Spaghetti Carbonara

Marcella Hazan's Spaghetti Carbonara
Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

We weren't wrong to fall in love with spaghetti carbonara in the 1970s. We were early. We did it before we realized that Parmesan is better grated from a block of aged Parmigiano-Reggiano than shaken from a can. And we ... Read more

Total time: 20 minutes | Serves 6
  • Salt
  • 1/2 pound pancetta, cut in 1/2-inch-thick slices, or its equivalent in good slab bacon
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 pounds spaghetti
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 ounce freshly grated Romano cheese
  • 2 ounces freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Step 1Bring a large pot of salted water to boil.

Step 2Meanwhile, cut the pancetta or bacon into strips not quite 1/4-inch wide.

Step 3Lightly mash the garlic with a knife handle, enough to split the cloves and loosen the skin; discard the skin. Place the garlic and olive oil in a skillet and turn the heat to medium-high. When the garlic turns a deep gold, about 2 minutes, remove it and discard.

Step 4Place the strips of pancetta or bacon in the pan and cook until they just begin to crisp at the edges, stirring often, about 5 minutes. Add the wine and let it bubble away for 1 to 2 minutes, then turn the heat off.

Step 5Add the spaghetti to the boiling water, and cook until al dente, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain.

Step 6Break the eggs into the serving bowl in which you'll be tossing the pasta. Beat them lightly with a fork, then add the Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano, a liberal grinding of pepper and the chopped parsley. Mix thoroughly.

Step 7Add the spaghetti to the bowl and toss rapidly, coating the strands well. Briefly reheat the pancetta or bacon over high heat, turn the entire contents into the bowl of spaghetti and toss thoroughly again. Serve at once.

Note: Although many recipes call for uncooked eggs, the U.S. Department of Agriculture has found them to be a potential carrier of food-borne illness and recommends that infants, the elderly and immuno-compromised people avoid raw eggs.


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