Pasta alla Carbonara

This recipe is based on the classic Italian dish, adjusted to Fair Shares ingredients, and is perfect served over a thin bed of chopped spinach, shoots, or arugula so it wilts the greens. Or toss the greens in just before serving.



1 pound fresh spaghetti or other fresh pasta
1/2 to 3/4 pound bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces*
1/4 cup dry white wine or vermouth
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large or 3 small eggs
1 cup freshly grated Tomme or Cave-aged Gouda
2T. milk or cream
Freshly ground black pepper
Fresh parsley or other herb
Shoots, spinach or other greens, optional

In a pan large enough to add in the cooked pasta when it’s done, start the bacon, cooking until crispy but not overly crunchy*. Put a large pan of water on to boil for the pasta. Once the bacon is crispy, stir in the wine and garlic and continue cooking to reduce for a few minutes, until there is a little liquid left to form a bacony sauce. Remove from heat.

In a bowl, beat together the eggs, cheese, milk or cream, and pepper, and set aside. Cook the pasta in boiling water for a few minutes, just until done–you want it al dente. Spaghetti and thin long noodles won’t take as long to cook as some of the thicker, short noodles. When the pasta is done, remove approximately 1/2 cup of the pasta water before draining and save for later.
Put the bacon pan back on the heat* and add the drained pasta, tossing well to coat and to make sure it’s heated through. Take the pan off the heat again and add the eggs and cheese mixture, quickly tossing everything to mix. Thin with a little of the pasta water, if necessary. Serve over or tossed with greens, if desired, and top the plates with a sprinkle of fresh herbs and little more grated cheese and black pepper.
*Note this delectable variation: rather than cooking bacon, break up and heat about 1/2 to 2/3 package of smoked salmon (it’s quite flavorful and a whole package may be overkill, but you decide) at the point where you would add the pasta to the cooked bacon. Remember, the salmon is fully cooked, so you just want to heat it, not cook it to dry out. Proceed with recipe as directed.