When your mother works for Ina Garten, you are the beneficiary of hundreds of mouthwatering meals – and for that, I am so grateful. But one of my family’s favorite tried and true dishes is my Father-in-law’s Spaghetti Carbonara. He started making it for my husband and his brother when they were young, and we've grown to love it more and more over the years!
The first time I remember having it was when we lived in Florida and our daughter, Summer, was very young. My husband’s parents came for a visit and my father-in-law, David, offered to make dinner to give me a night off from cooking. He got in the kitchen and whipped up his Spaghetti Carbonara. Summer gobbled it up and I went back for seconds! That was seven years ago and I’m still making it today. It’s certainly a crowd-pleaser and with an 8, 5 and a 3-year-old that is quite the feat! I often make it for potluck dinner parties and it’s a great dish to share with friends because you can make it ahead.
Usually, I make an entire package of bacon the ‘Ina Garten’ way (baked on a rack over a sheet pan – see this post). I’ll use the leftover bacon for breakfast or salads the rest of the week. But David cooks it in the pan and then sautés the onion and garlic in the bacon grease. When I make it, it’s usually in the afternoon (while the kids are in school or napping) so I'll put the finished product in the crockpot on warm. Then, when we’re ready to eat, I'll stir in a little pasta water – a drier white wine also works. You can set the pasta water aside at room temperature for a few hours or if you have leftovers, I put the water in the fridge to add when I reheat. This is a great recipe to package up in our Chinese Takeout Containers. My kids eat it right out of the containers at room temperature.
1 cup diced onion
6 slices bacon
1 clove garlic (minced)
1 cup grated Parmesan
1 cup thawed peas
3 extra large eggs
Cook bacon in a skillet over the stove. Drain and crumble bacon (I opt for the less mess ‘Ina Garten’ cooking method found here). Sauté onion in olive oil for two minutes (or bacon grease, if preferred). Add garlic, and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat and toss in thawed peas.
Cook spaghetti to al dente. When spaghetti is just about done, put onion/pea mixture back on medium heat to warm. Drain spaghetti (set aside some pasta water). Add spaghetti directly to pan and mix. Pour eggs over spaghetti and toss to coat everything. Add Parmesan and toss once more. If too dry, add pasta water or splash of white wine.