Pasta Carbonara


If you think that Pasta Carbonara is a dish you can only have in restaurants, you’ll be shocked to see how simple making it really is. Here to break down the steps for any home cook are Gayle Pirie and John Clark, Chefs and Co-owners of Foreign Cinema in San Francisco. Read on for the full recipe and then tell us in the Comments section what you think!

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1 pound (or just under) long noodles (spaghettini, fedelini or linguine)
6 thick slices smoky bacon
2 Tablespoons pure olive oil
4 eggs
Salt to taste
Chunk of Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Bring slightly salted water to a boil in a large pot. Cook the noodles until tender but firm.

2. While the noodles cook, dice the bacon and cook it in the olive oil until just lightly crisped in a medium sauté pan. Pour off the excess fat, reserving 4 tablespoons in the pan.

3. In a bowl, beat the eggs and season with a little salt.

4. Drain the noodles, saving about 2 tablespoons of water for later. If the pan has cooled down, warm it up again right before adding the noodles.

5. Add the noodles to the warm bacon in the pan; thoroughly toss with the oil and bacon, and season with salt. Work fast and pour the beaten eggs onto the warm noodles and mix well to coat the noodles.

6. Add the reserved pasta water if the noodles look dry. The heat of the noodles and the pan will thicken and set the eggs. If there is not enough heat, turn the burner on very low, just to warm the noodles, then turn it off. Too much heat can scramble the eggs.

7. Once the noodles, egg and bacon are well mixed, add freshly grated Parmesan cheese, and stir. Freshly ground black pepper is an essential addition. Serve in warm pasta bowls.

Want to hear more from Gayle and John about what they cook for their kids? Check out our interview with them here.

Partners Gayle Pirie and John Clark are two highly original talents who have been deeply involved in the competitive and innovative ferment of the San Francisco restaurant scene for over two decades. Today, Pirie and Clark are the chef talent and owners behind two very popular and exciting dining destinations in San Francisco – Foreign Cinema and Show Dogs. In addition to Foreign Cinema and their new ventures, they have published two cookbooksCountry Egg, City Egg in 2000 and Bride and Groom in 2006.

photo: jeffreyw via flickr

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