Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Carbonara is a quick and tasty pasta dish you can whip up in little more than the time it takes the spaghetti to cook. Our version is a little different than the traditional recipe as it includes shallots and a splash of vermouth. We find that the vermouth not only adds an extra dimension of flavor, it cuts through the richness of the egg and cheese and lightens the dish overall. Serve with a chilled glass of good Italian white wine and a salad.

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Spaghetti Alla Carbonara

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

A quick, lightened up version of spaghetti alla carbonara works well for a late night supper.


  • 12 ounces thin spaghetti
  • 8 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 2 medium shallots, very finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons dry vermouth
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons fresh parsley, finely chopped (for garnish)


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for the pasta.
  2. In a small skillet, fry the bacon until crisp, about 4 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate and drain all but 1 tablespoon of the fat from the pan.
  3. Add the spaghetti to the boiling water and begin cooking according to the package directions.
  4. While the pasta cooks, heat the olive oil and bacon fat over medium heat. Add the garlic and shallots to the skillet and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes, just until the garlic is fragrant and barely golden. Stir in the wine and continue cooking for 1 minute longer. Return the bacon to the pan, remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Drain the pasta and reserve 1/3 cup of the cooking water.
  6. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs and cheese. Very slowly, whisk in the reserved pasta water until well blended.
  7. Add the bacon-garlic mixture to the pasta and toss to combine. Quickly add the egg and cheese mixture, toss again and season to taste with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve immediately.