This is not just any Spaghetti Carbonara. No way. No how. This is the BEST EVER. Why? Because it has bacon and prosciutto and caramelized onions and eggs and cheese to give it a glossy, creamy sauce. See? I told you so.
You CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT THIS PASTA. It does take a bit of thinking to get this right so make sure you read the recipe carefully and follow each step as written. If you do so, you will have delicious, creamy pasta and not a pot of scrambled eggs. It isn’t hard to make but the directions are definitely worth following.
The dish starts with a whole pile of tasty caramelized onions. To make them, you just put lots of thinly sliced onions in a large NONSTICK saute pan with a little olive oil and you turn the heat up really, really high. That’s it. You have to be patient. You can’t move them all around. You have to let them do their thing and then you stir. Then you let them do their thing again and you stir. You don’t just stir and stir and stir because they will not brown. When they give up all of their liquid, that is when you can start stirring so they don’t burn.
As the onions get dry and start browning, you add a bit of white wine or water to keep them from sticking. That’s the magic for caramelized onions. More magic comes in the form of egg yolks, cheese and a bit of cream so the pasta is well- coated with delicousness.
Pork is also well-represented in this dish in the form of both bacon and prosciutto. I know most people traditionally just add bacon to carbonara but frankly, I am always looking around the plate for another piece to go with another mouthful of pasta. I think I am going to start a food movement where for every mouthful of pasta, there has to be some other ingredient on the fork. So now you understand me.
And now, if you make this recipe you will see that the title is not an exaggeration. You will never make carbonara again without onions, bacon and prosciutto. Let me know in the comments if you agree with my pasta philosophy!
It’s been awhile since I have expressed my intense gratitude to all of you who have read my blog or followed my Instagram or Pinterest. You are all the encouragement I need to keep this up. Thanks so much.
The Best Spaghetti Carbonara You Have Ever Tasted
What makes the best spaghetti carbonara? Adding lots and lots of ingredients so that each strand of pasta has a tasty morsel to accompany it. It is important to have everything prepped ahead of time so you can stir the egg mixture quickly into the hot pasta. The heat of the pasta cooks the raw egg and cheese mixture off of the heat. I add cream and parmesan cheese to the egg yolks to get a smoother sauce and coat everything at the very end with a bit of pasta water so that the final dish is glossy and delicious.
If you are concerned that the raw eggs will not be cooked at high temperature, you can use pasteurized egg substitute equivalent to four egg yolks.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 medium white or yellow onions very thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- 1/2 pound thick cut bacon diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 3 ounces prosciutto cut into ¼ inch strips
- 1/3 cup chicken broth
- 4 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
- 1/3 cup heavy cream optional
- 1 pound spaghetti
- black pepper to taste
- chopped Italian parsley
- extra parmesan cheese for topping
- Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. When the pan is very hot, add the onions and salt and combine well. Let the onions sit in the hot pan until they are starting to sweat. There will be a lot of liquid initially as the onions cook. Stir them after 5-7 minutes and let them just cook for another 5 minutes without stirring. Continue this process until most of the liquid is gone. Be patient as this will take awhile.
- Once the onions are soft, turn the heat up and, stirring constantly, brown the onions. As the onions brown and get dry, add the wine, one tablespoon at a time. Remove the onions from the pan and set aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
- Add the bacon to the empty pan and over medium heat and cook until crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and drain on paper towels, discard the grease and wipe the pan dry. Put the caramelized onions in the pan (no oil is necessary) and over a medium heat add the garlic and cook for two minutes. Add the drained bacon to the onions and the prosciutto. Stir for 2 minutes until the prosciutto is just warm. Add the chicken broth to the pan and heat the mixture until it just starts to boil. Keep warm over a very low heat.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks, cheese and cream (if you are using it).
- Cook the pasta according to the package directions. You want the pasta to be al dente but not overly so.
- When the pasta is cooked, remove ½ cup of pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta quickly. Transfer the onion and bacon mixture from the sauté pan to the pasta pot and remove the pot from the heat. Add the pasta all at once to the onions and quickly add the egg and cheese mixture. Toss the pasta very quickly off of the heat with a large fork and spoon until all of the ingredients are mixed together. Add black pepper to taste.
- Add the hot pasta water at the end and toss quickly until the water coats the pasta and the ingredients are all mixed together.
- Toss on the parsley and serve with additional cheese on the side.