If you're a pasta fanatic like me, sometimes you're in the mood for pasta but the ol' budget can't swing it. Luckily, if you've got spaghetti, eggs, and bacon, you can make your own spaghetti carbonara in less than half an hour!

The recipe is a reasonably sized serving for two, but it's easily doubled in case you've got more company. The less spaghetti there is, the easier it is to toss it in the skillet, as I found out the hard way (RIP my only pair of tongs). So maybe do a few batches or use a sturdier pair of tongs. Whatever floats your boat.

Spaghetti Carbonara

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:2
  • Easy


  • 4 oz spaghetti
  • 1 egg
  • 3 slices bacon - pre-cooked or raw
  • 1/4 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Cheese
  • Salt
  • Pepper
Caroline Shagnea

1. Boil spaghetti in salted water until tender, drain, saving 1/4 cup of water, and set aside. Meanwhile, put bacon slices (if raw) into microwave for 1 minute and 30 seconds (two sheets of paper towels under and over the slices). Dice bacon into chunks. If you're using pre-cooked, just dice without microwaving. 

Caroline Shagnea

2. In a small bowl, whisk egg and cheese together. Set aside.

3. Put a medium pan on medium-high heat. Once hot, cook bacon until it's crispy, stir in garlic. You can also just cook the bacon raw, no microwave, but there's a lot of grease going on, in which case make sure to drain most of it.

Caroline Shagnea

4. Turn heat to low, stir pasta and egg mixture into the bacon and toss. We're trying to not let the egg scramble, but if it happens, it happens. Add the water you saved from the pasta until you reach the desired consistency. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, with parsley.  

Caroline Shagnea

As you can tell, my egg scrambled because I did not let my pan cool down enough first.

BUT it was really tasty and got the seal of approval from my family who blindly put their trust in me for dinner. Finesse comes with practice, we'll get 'em next time.

I really like this recipe because it's so flexible. You can use ham, pancetta, bacon, pretty much anything you can find in your fridge. Also, if you're not a cheese person, you can just put salt in with the eggs. Get creative! Other than the egg, it's really, really hard to screw this up (challenge accepted). The leftovers taste just as good, too.

There's a lot of ways to get your pasta fix, but the simpler and cheaper, the better!