All you really need for this easy pasta recipe is a couple of eggs, a pound of spaghetti, a couple cloves of garlic, unsalted butter, and that block of parm hidden in the back of the fridge. This is the most stripped-down version of carbonara you’ll ever see, the thing I turn to when there’s nothing left in the fridge and I’m desperate. I’ve never made carbonara with pancetta or bacon; I threw in some peas once and that was nice. A sprinkle of chopped flat-leaf parsley on top? Sounds good if you have it.
- Yield: 4 servings
- Difficulty: Easy
- Total: 20 mins
- Active: 10 mins
- 1 pound dried spaghetti
- 1 tablespoon (1/8 stick) unsalted butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 2 large eggs, beaten
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Kosher salt as needed
- Bring a big pot of salted water to a boil and add the spaghetti.
- While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Turn off the heat under the skillet. When the spaghetti is cooked al dente, drain it, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
- Add the drained spaghetti to the skillet and toss with the garlic and butter. Add half the cheese and, with metal tongs, toss until well coated, about 1 minute.
- Add the eggs and toss for 1 minute more.
- Add the remaining cheese, black pepper to taste, and enough of the reserved pasta cooking water to form a creamy sauce that clings to the noodles (I usually add about 1/4 cup). Taste and add a bit of salt if necessary.
- Toss again, about 1 minute. Serve immediately in warmed pasta bowls.