Great Family Recipes: Cousin Luciano’s Pasta Carbonara

My family welcomed my husband into the family many years ago when we married. He wasn’t the first person of Chinese descent to marry into my paternal side of the family. But we didn’t have any Italian on that side. About five years ago my cousin Andrew married Luciano. I want to give you the back story, but I would be here awhile. Suffice it to say, it is a beautiful love story and “Luc” (pronounced “Looch“) has brought so many wonderful things into our lives. This recipe is one of them. It is the best pasta dish my husband and I have ever eaten:

Pasta Carbonara

  • 1 pkg pancetta (or 1/2 package bacon, depending)
  • 2 eggs
  • Pasta (it’s better to get spaghetti or fettucine)
  • Parmesan to taste (buy the good stuff)

Boil water and cook the pasta according to directions on the package. In the mean time, pan-fry the pancetta or the bacon. Beat the two eggs (with whites and all).

When the pasta is cooked, drain it. Quickly put it back in the saucepan (large is preferred). Chuck in the pancetta. Turn the stove back on and put the pasta back on the fire. Then quickly add the egg and STIR thoroughly, making sure the egg spreads evenly. Don’t cook it too long… You don’t want the egg to become golden or anything… It needs to be yellow and creamy.

Take off stove and serve with Parmesan.


My husband and I have made this all different ways, gluten and dairy free included. Every time it’s amazing — there are no leftovers. I think the kind of pancetta you use is important. I don’t like the cubed pancetta at all. I like the thinly sliced stuff. And bacon works just fine, but I’m not Italian. I say a half-package of bacon because that’s enough for two people. Also, if you don’t have Parmesan, you won’t miss it. Recently, I bought a very hard Parmesan cheese  and decided to see if my system could tolerate it in this recipe (everyone kept telling me that hard cheeses are easier to digest). Good news: I tolerated a little without a problem (my body is healing!). Bad news: It added nothing to the dish and my husband requested that I omit the Parm in the future.

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4 thoughts on “Great Family Recipes: Cousin Luciano’s Pasta Carbonara

  1. Looks great! I can’t wait to try it, but I think I’ll add some frozen peas, usually carbonara has peas, sometimes mushrooms too, for added color and for some reason mushrooms and bacon make a great pair. Merry Christmas!

  2. How about that. I was recently on a carbonara kick after seeing an easy recipe in GQ a couple years ago (I know I know, recipes from a men’s fashion mag, but they’re all surprisingly easy and tasty!). It’s almost as easy as yours. I beat one egg with a TON of black pepper and parm cheese in a bowl, pour over the heated pasta to cook it, and then pour over the sliced bacon (drain off some fat depending), which cooks it more. I wasn’t terribly happy that this dish had 0 veggies in it, so I decided to cook the bacon with mushrooms, and then add some frozen peas to the heated mixture. OMG what a difference! Totally kicked it up a notched, added 0 prep and cooking time, and so easy. Note: my version is for a single serving 😉

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