Spaghetti alla Carbonara

October/November 2005

Your rating: None Average: 3.5 (57 votes)

In this version, the eggs are cooked into a custardlike sauce. An extra step, yes, but the technique ensures food safety. To vary the vegetables, try green beans, asparagus or frozen peas (cook peas separately from pasta).

"This was fantastic! I did not wind up with scrambled eggs like some of the reviewers. You really have to be mindful of the amount of heat you are using and constantly whisk the egg mixture. I will make this again! "
Spaghetti alla Carbonara

Makes: 6 servings, 1 cup each

Active Time:

Total Time:


  • 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces thinly sliced prosciutto, or Canadian bacon, trimmed of fat and diced (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch of crushed red pepper
  • 3 large eggs, (pasteurized, if desired)
  • 3/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat spaghetti, or linguine
  • 8 ounces broccolini, (2 1/2 cups) or broccoli rabe (4 cups), stem ends trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
  • Salt, to taste


  1. Put a large pot of water on to boil for cooking pasta. Also bring about 1 inch of water to a gentle simmer in the bottom of a double boiler (see Equipment Tip).
  2. Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add prosciutto (or Canadian bacon) and cook, stirring often, until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Remove from heat.
  3. Whisk eggs, broth and pepper in the top of the double boiler to combine. Set over the simmering water in the bottom of the double boiler and cook, whisking constantly in a slow, steady, figure-eight motion, until the sauce steams and thickens enough to coat a metal spoon, 5 to 7 minutes. The sauce may have a few small curdles. Remove the top pan from the heat and whisk the sauce rapidly so it does not continue to curdle.
  4. Meanwhile, cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring often, for 5 minutes. Drop in broccolini (or broccoli rabe) and cook until the pasta is tender but firm, 4 to 6 minutes more. Drain and place in a large bowl. Add the egg sauce, the prosciutto (or bacon) mixture and cheese; toss to coat well. Season with salt, if desired.

Tips & Notes

  • Equipment tip: No double boiler? Improvise by setting a large stainless-steel bowl over a pan of simmering water.


Per serving: 307 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 2 g mono); 121 mg cholesterol; 45 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 19 g protein; 8 g fiber; 528 mg sodium; 231 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Selenium (70% daily value), Vitamin C (60% dv), Fiber (30% dv), Calcium (15% dv), Iron (15% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 2 1/2

Exchanges: 2.5 starch, 1/2 vegetable, 1.5 medium-fat meat (mono)

Nutrition Note: Original Carbonara 574 calories, 27 grams total fat, 14 grams saturated fat, 2 grams fiber EW Carbonara 307 calories, 7 grams total fat, 2 grams saturated fat, 8 grams fiber

More From EatingWell

Recipe Categories

Ease of Preparation
Total Time
45 minutes or less
Main Ingredient
Preparation/ Technique

New Year's Eve
October/November 2005
Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner