Spaghetti Carbonnara

Day 4: “O, The Oprah Magazine Cookbook

January 4, 2011

The Oprah Magazine Cookbook is full of 175 recipes that cover food for the meat lover as well as food for the vegetarian.  Almost every recipe is accompanied by a full color photo.  I have an affinity for cookbooks full of photos.  I believe that if I can see the photos then I can make.  It somehow gives me the confidence to take on a more challenging dish.  I had picked out several that I wanted to make and then let my husband choose from my selections, because I am nice like that.  I had picked out some vegetarian soups, along with a carb and fat loaded Spaghetti Carbonara.  He chose the scrumptious Spaghetti Carbonara on page 196.  A dish that I gain 5 pounds just by looking at it!  Tonight I had to feed two boys after several hours of weight lifting….they need the calories, I however sat in front of my computer working all day, I don’t need the calories.  I have made this dish several other times in various forms.  I have never found a version that I really liked as much as this one. 

The Ruling:  This one is a keeper!  In my permanent recipe file it goes.  I have talked to others and they also share in my misery is that they have not been able to find one that they truly love.  What was the verdict from the kids….two of them didn’t like them because it had onions.  Really, the problem was that I didn’t chop them big enough so they couldn’t pick them out.  Insert my eye roll to my children!  Never mind my children, give it a try as I think that you will think it is a keeper as well!

My changes from the recipe as printed is that I used the thick cut bacon, not the pancetta.  Because bacon is so fatty, I did not use the olive oil.  I also took a turkey baister and tried to eliminate as much of the bacon grease as I could.  At that point I added in the onion.  Maybe I saved 5,000 5 calories by doing this step.  I also did not add the parsley as I was all out and this was pretty much a supper made from ingredients that I already had in the house.

Spaghetti Carbonnara


  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6 ounces pancetta or thick cut bacon, cut into 1 inch long thin strips
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds spaghetti
  • 2 Tbs. coarse sea salt
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 2 Tbs. chopped parsley
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add pancetta/bacon and cook 5 minutes.  Add onion and saute until both onion and pancetta are lightly browned.  Remove from heat.
  2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, in boiling water with sea salt.  While pasta cooks, stir together yolks, parsley, and 1/3 cup cheese.  Return pancetta and onion to medium heat; add cream and pepper and bring to a slow simmer.
  3. Strain pasta, reserving 1 1/4 cups of pasta water.  Blend 1/4 cups of pasta water.  Blend 1/4 cup of pasta water with yolk mixture, then stir into pancetta cream sauce.  Add  1/2 to 3/4 cup more of pasta water and simmer sauce until bubbling and slightly thickened, about 1 minute.
  4. Return pasta to pot and toss with sauce.  If necessary, add more pasta water to make sauce creamy.  Serve with additional grated cheese on the side, if desired.

Bacon and Onions


How about some cream on top of the bacon?


Egg and Cheese mixture added to the bacon and onion

The finished product!

To Joyful, Simplified Living,

MS. Simplicity

MS. Simplicity, also known as Melissa Schmalenberger  operates her business as I Did it with MS. Simplicity.  She is a Professional Organizer based out of Fargo, ND and her website can be found at .  Need to contact MS. Simplicity privately, you can email her at


1 Comment

Filed under Main Dishes, Pasta

One response to “Spaghetti Carbonnara

  1. Pingback: Day 4……Th Oprah Magazine Cookbook « MS. Simplicity

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