I often find myself pressed for time to make dinner between daily classes and nightly meetings. When my fridge is on the empty side and I take to the internet for a recipe that is easy and sparse on ingredients, more often than not I wind up lacking—and hungrier than I was before my search. 

Recipes branded "easy" that require obscure ingredients are not any college student's friend. I present to you an actually easy carbonara pasta dish that is actually delicious that you can actually make right now. I guarantee it. 

  • Prep Time:5 mins
  • Cook Time:15 mins
  • Total Time:20 mins
  • Servings:1
  • Medium


  • 1 egg
  • 1 serving spaghetti
  • 2 teaspoons white vinegar ( or anything acidic i.e.: lemon , wine )
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Step 1

    Set a pot of water to boil on the stove for your pasta.
    #SpoonTip: Add some salt to the water.

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    Lauren Smith
  • Step 2

    Once the water is boiling, add your pasta. Make sure to stir it occasionally so it does not clump together. It should cook for about eight minutes to reach al dente, but taste to ensure it is cooked enough for your liking.

    pasta, spaghetti
    Lauren Smith
  • Step 3

    Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of white vinegar, or anything acidic. The acidity helps prevent the egg from "feathering" (which is when the egg whites splay out and don't stay wrapped around the yolk).

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    Lauren Smith
  • Step 4

    Crack your egg into a cup or ramekin. This will make it easier to pour when the time comes!

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    Lauren Smith
  • Step 5

    When the water begins to simmer (you see lil bubbles but it isn't boiling!) use the opposite end of a spoon to stir the water and create a whirlpool.

    Lauren Smith
  • Step 6

    Once you have a whirlpool, pour your egg into the center. Immediately turn off the burner and put the top on the pot. Let sit for five minutes.

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    Lauren Smith
  • Step 7

    When the five minutes are up for your egg, remove the top and stare into the pot with awe. This is a very important step. You just poached an egg! Remove with a slated spoon and place lovingly on top of your spaghetti pile.

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    Lauren Smith
  • Step 8

    Garnish with any type of hard, grated Italian cheese (I use Romano), crushed red pepper, a sprinkle of olive oil—whatever is to your liking! Dig in.

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    Lauren Smith