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Main Dish | April 18, 2009

Tessa’s Spaghetti Carbonara


Tessa's Spaghetti Carbonara

Remember my friend Tessa? I love Tessa. And I love almost anything she cooks. She whipped up this Spaghetti Carbonara for me several years ago, and it’s still one of my favorites. You probably have everything you need to make it right in your fridge. If not, run down to the store and keep it on hand. Then, when you need to make a quick dinner because you are running to your 6th soccer, or baseball, or softball or lacrosse game of the week, and you are sitting at the field, and it’s 7PM, and you are thinking – “We can not eat hamburgers or Taco Bell one more night this week” – go home and have this on the table in about 20 minutes.

The secret to having it all done fast is to put the water on to boil while you are cooking the bacon. You can use the pre cooked bacon too, to save time and mess. Serve it with a green veg or salad and some crusty bread, and your family will thank you for being the most wonderful Mom (or Dad) in the world. Oh- almost forgot. You should really heat your plates or pasta bowls when serving Carbonara. If you are placing it in a serving bowl, heat that too. Just turn your oven on for about 10 minutes to 250 degrees, put your oven proof dinner plates and serving bowl in, and turn the oven OFF.

Keeping the serving bowl and the plates warm keep the pasta and sauce warm, and you won’t get that icky sticky pasta mess you get when you serve this dish on a cold plate. I know you are saying cream and butter!! No, it’s not low fat, but neither are those frozen corndogs or Hot Pockets you were going to pawn off as dinner.

Tessa’s Spaghetti Carbonara


  • 1/2 lb spaghetti
  • 4 tablespoons butter if you double, I leave the butter at 4 tbsp total
  • 1 cup whipping cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/3 cup grated fresh parmesan cheese No green cans
  • 4 slices bacon cooked, drained and chopped


  1. Heat water in large pot to boil. Cook pasta al dente, as directed on package. 
  2. Meanwhile, cook bacon in sauce pan, remove and chop. Drain off all grease from pan, and wipe inside of pan with paper towel. 
  3. Melt butter in saucepan. Add cream and cook for about 10 minutes until reduced a bit. Remove 1/4 cup cream to small bowl, mix 4 egg yolks to the 1/4 cup cream mixture with a fork. Return the egg and cream mixture to the pan with the remaining cream. 
  4. When pasta is done, drain and pour into heated bowl. While pasta is still hot, pour egg mixture over pasta, toss to cook egg slightly. Add the chopped bacon and grated parmesan. Serve immediately.

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