- 1 box (1 lb) Spaghetti or Fettuccine
- 2 eggs
- 4 egg yolks
- 1 cup freshly grated pecorino Romano or parmesan cheese
- 8 slices of bacon or pancetta, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- Freshly ground black pepper
- Optional: ½ heavy cream or half-and-half (see note at the bottom of the recipe)
- Cook pasta in boiling salted water until al dente.
- While the pasta is cooking, in a mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg yolks and cheese. Set aside.
- In a very large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon. After the bacon starts to crisp up, add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Add peas and sauté for a few minutes. Remove from heat. (If the bacon mixture cools down too much before the pasta is cooked, reheat it before continuing to the next step.)
- Once the pasta is almost done, ladle out approximately 1 ½ cups of the starchy pasta water and set aside. In a slow stream, while whisking the entire time, add only 1/2 cup of the reserved starchy pasta water to the egg mixture to temper the eggs.
- Quickly drain the pasta and put it in the skillet with the bacon mixture.
- Stirring the entire time, slowly pour the egg mixture on the pasta. Add more of the reserved pasta water if needed for creaminess. (Timing is everything when it comes to this recipe. You want to make sure the pasta is still hot when you pour the egg mixture on it so that the heat of the pasta cooks the eggs.)
- Season with fresh ground black pepper. Taste and, if needed, season with salt.
- Note: Traditional carbonara doesn’t have cream in it (or peas), but if you’d like your dish more creamy, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream or half and half into the egg mixture.