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.

Tip: Clean Greens

The greens we get (particularly some of the winter spinach) can be pretty dirty. Sometimes they're pristinely clean, but still, we suggest you always wash your food! Give it an initial rinse and then remove the stems and soak the leaves in plenty of clean water. I use my salad spinner, placing the leaves in the...Read more


Del Carmen has been a vendor for Fair Shares for 3+ years now.  We have developed a quality relationship based on trust. Our communications have been seamless. In addition, Fair Shares and its members have been great marketers for our products.  As a (very) small business, we are unable to advertise or market our products, so we have to rely on word of mouth.  Many of our customers are, were, or know Fair Shares members who have recommended our products.

Del Carmen has also benefitted from valuable ideas for use of existing products and suggestions in product development from the Fair Shares community.  I go to them for feedback, knowing I will get good, reliable and useful information.

We thank you, Fair Shares, for your support and commitment to del Carmen. We wish you much continued success.  After all, your success also helps the success of del Carmen and other local vendors and farmers.

Estie Cruz-Curoe, del Carmen Beans, St. Louis, MO