Cooking with Dining: Pasta Carbonara


Over the past few weeks, I have been concentrating on recipes that can be duplicated in dorm rooms with very little equipment.

This week’s recipe however will require a more complete kitchen equipped with a stove top and oven. For thefolks on campus with that equipment…try this one out!

Pasta Carbonara is one of the most flavorful and most popular dishes I know of. It originates from Rome, Italy.

Most classic recipes leave out the cream…feel free to do so, however I find that the cream adds a delightful richness and satisfying texture. This recipe is super easy and is fun to cook for a crowd of friends who you would like to impress.

The Salmon is optional. With the addition of the salmon, the pasta becomes more of a side…without the Salmon, the pasta can take the main stage.

Good luck and happy cooking!


  • 1 pound dry spaghetti
  • 4 large eggs, as fresh as possible
  • 8 ounces pancetta or slab bacon, cubed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/2 cup freshly graterd Pecorino
  • 1 cup heavy Cream
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 4 individual 6 oz Salmon Filets, olive oil, salt and pepper. (optional)


Preheat your oven to 375 Degrees.

Bring about 6 quarts of generously salted water (it should taste like the ocean) to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente. When the pasta is done, reserve 1/2 cup of the water, then drain.

While the pasta is cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon and sauté for about 3 minutes, or until the meat is crispy and golden and has rendered its fat. Turn off the heat.

While the bacon is rendering, Salt and pepper the Salmon, drizzle with olive oil and place in the oven. It should be done in about 10 minutes.

I should note that the salmon is optional. This dish is great as it is, but certainly benefits with a side of perfectly roasted Salmon.

In a small bowl whisk the eggs and the cheeses until well-combined.

Return the pancheta to the pan to medium heat, and add half of the reserved pasta water to the pan.

Toss in the spaghetti and agitate the pan over the heat for a few seconds until the bubbling subsides. Much of the water will evaporate

Remove the pan from the heat and add the cream, then the egg mixture and stir quickly until the eggs thicken. Be sure your pan is not too hot!

The residual heat will cook the eggs but work quickly to prevent the eggs from scrambling. If the sauce seems too thick, thin it out with a little bit more of the reserved pasta water.

Season liberally with freshly cracked black pepper. Taste for seasoning; depending on the kind of pork used, it may not need any salt.

Divide the pasta into bowls and top with the salmon filet. Serve immediately.



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