Hey friends! I’m pretty excited about this post for a few reasons. Don’t get me wrong, I’m always excited to write posts but this one is special because I’m a sucker for anything involving cheese + carbs and finding recipes that are really easy. (Your girl likes to eat, if you haven’t gathered that yet.) If you’re in college like me, you know how cooking meals for yourself can be the ultimate struggle. I also have an inkling that for working individuals weeknight dinners are always better when the preparation and cooking time is kept to a minimum.
In addition to being a self-proclaimed foodie, I’m also really into Pinterest. I go to Pinterest for inspiration of all sorts – recipes being one of them. If you want to check out what I’ve been pinning or want to follow along, here’s my profile. Sometimes I pin recipes that look absolutely mouthwatering but then I click to the recipe and find that it takes hours to make, requires way too many ingredients, or just isn’t practical for my student schedule/budget. But since I’m somewhat of a pin-hoarder, I just save it for later and dream of a day when I have a giant kitchen of my own and get to write my own cookbook like Chrissy Teigen. (Realistic goal.) That’s why I decided to share my experience with this recipe that I recently pinned and actually tried making – so you didn’t have to do the testing! There’s nothing worse than going through all the trouble to make a recipe and have it fail.
Spaghetti Carbonara recipe from Damn Delicious
I really enjoy simple pastas like spaghetti carbonara or baked ziti so when I saw this pin, I was totally sucked in because from the picture it looked quite simple but delicious. (You know the saying ‘never judge a book by it’s cover’? Well that’s now my philosophy when it comes to Pinterest.)
The first line of the recipe on Chungah’s blog reads: “The easiest pasta dish you will ever make with just 5 ingredients in 15 min, loaded with Parmesan and crisp bacon goodness!” Umm, yes girl. She was speaking directly to me. FIVE ingredients. 15 minutes. Bacon. Cheese.
- 8 ounces spaghetti
- 2 large eggs
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
- 4 slices bacon, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
Nothing here is crazy impractical for a college student who lives by herself to buy – except maybe fresh parsley, since what am I really going to do with the rest of the parsley leaves? But no problem, I can skip this as it’s garnish or just use dried leaves if I really want it.
Note on portions: 8 oz. of spaghetti is only half a standard package and while you can get 4 servings out of it, they are fairly small portions in my opinion so you should be supplementing with sides like a salad or bread. So depending on who you’re feeding, adjust accordingly – maybe you want to cook the entire 16 oz. package of spaghetti. Also, if you’re a bacon lover, you’re going to want to use more than 4 strips of bacon. For 8 oz. of pasta, the bacon to pasta ratio is too low in my opinion. I would double it. As you can see from the photo (sorry for the iPhone photo yet again..I left my DSLR in Seattle when I made this) you can’t even spot the bacon!
- In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta according to package instructions; reserve 1/2 cup water and drain well.
- In a small bowl, whisk together eggs and Parmesan; set aside.
- Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add bacon and cook until brown and crispy, about 6-8 minutes; reserve excess fat.
- Stir in garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Reduce heat to low.
- Working quickly, stir in pasta and egg mixture, and gently toss to combine; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add reserved pasta water, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached.
- Serve immediately, garnished with parsley, if desired.
Comments on instructions: Whisking the eggs and Parmesan together was interesting. It turned into a rather goopy liquid. I was getting skeptical of the mixture so I left some parmesan out on the side. This worked out well because I used the remainder and sprinkled it over the pasta once it was plated. When you get to the part where you add pasta, I would remove the pan completely from heat and then pour in the mixture slowly while tossing it with the pasta and bacon. I am my mother’s daughter, so of course I used a pair of cooking chopsticks to do this, but I recommend tongs. It’s easy to end up with a sort of scrambled egg mixture if you’re doing this on heat and mixing instead of tossing. The residual heat definitely cooks the egg but it may not look like it immediately. I recommend covering the pan with a lid for a few minutes to let it simmer. I only added 1-2 teaspoons of the pasta water for texture but note that you should serve immediately as the recipe states to get that creaminess. It dries up quickly.
Final verdict: Tasty and perfect for a fast, simple meal that you could even serve to guests. It is actually as simple as the recipe says and you will definitely not Pinterest fail this one.
So, if you’ve mastered the spaghetti + jarred pasta sauce staple college meal but you’re feeling fancy, try this recipe because it’s certainly a step or two up without being challenging or being too expensive. Let me know if you try this recipe and tell me what you think! Would you be interested in me testing more recipes from Pinterest and sharing my results with you?
P.S. Last Fall I tested another Pinterest recipe thats an under 30 minute mac and cheese dish made with greek yogurt! Check that post out here.