Wednesday, April 20, 2011

College Kid Cuisine -- Spaghetti Carbonara

I got sick of the College Student Diet pretty quickly.

Grilled cheese, Mac and Cheese, Ramen, More Things With Cheese--these got old really fast. Cheap and Cheesy, that seems to be what we live on for the 4 years we're on our own and hitting the books and possibly also working 30-40 hour weeks.

So what could I create that was cheap, tasty, and would last a while via leftovers?

Enter, Spaghetti Carbonara. 

Do not let the fancy name fool you, this dish is easy peasy-lemon-squeezy... though it doesn't include lemon at all really, but hey, that sounds like it might taste good... hmmm...

Anyways. This was my go-to dish. With the exception of the fresh parsley, I usually had everything I needed on hand. And if I took the long way home and passed by Trader Joe's, I could pick some up for less than a dollar. If I was feeling fancy, I could opt for scallions over onions, fresh parmesan over room-temp-tube-kind, thick-sliced maple smoked bacon or procuitto over whatevers-on-sale-brand, or I could make the entire meal for $6 buying regular stuff.
Good, hearty meal if you're in a fix. Pair with whatever veggies you have in the freezer. Impress your friends that you can cook something with a foreign language name!

Spaghetti Carbonara
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 box pasta of choice
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 slices bacon, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup parmsean
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • salt and pepper

-Cook one box pasta according to directions. (I like pastas with holes or twirls as they catch the sauce best).
-Cook bacon over medium-high heat. When bacon is nearly done, add onions and cook until they begin to soften.* Add garlic and cook until fragrant.

-Add pasta to the pan and toss until well coated with bacon grease.

-In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, parsely, parm, and salt and pepper until well blended. Pour over pasta.
-Remove from heat immediately and toss pasta mixture with egg mixture until well blended.

*You can drain the bacon fat here too, but I stopped doing this because it helps add to the overall flavor of this dish. Hey, I never said it was healthy!

**The heat from the pasta and bacon mix should be enough to cook the egg. If you feel a little ooky about potentially eating raw egg, feel free to stir pasta over low heat for a few minutes, being careful not to scramble the egg. However, I make it exactly this way and I ate it about twice a week for the two years I lived off-campus and never had a problem. So be aware of the risks involved in undercooked eggs, but don't worry too much!


  1. I was the same way with typical college food - no thank you. It's where I really learned how to cook. This dish looks delicious.

  2. This looks amazing! I love how your brussels sprouts are all lined up on your plate. I never could get into that whole college kid food thing, hence why I love meals like this!

  3. I can't blame you for getting bored of college food; I haven't even started yet and I'm already ready to have my own apartment and cook when I please. I love your college gone gourmet cuisine!

  4. I never made Spaghetti Carbonara back in college...but I definitely do's so creamy and delicious and such a fantastic meal. Yours look wonderful :D

  5. Thank you so much for posting this recipe! I am currently in grad school and working almost 40 hours per week at the this is PERFECT and looks delicious! :) I hope you have a great Monday!

  6. Spaghetti carbonara is one of my favorite things to make when I don't know what to make!

  7. Wow, just made this tonight and it's truly amazing. Thank you once again for a stunning but simple recipe.
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  8. Made this lady night during the snow storm here in nyc. I used turkey bacon. It smelled and tasted delicious!