Lemony Carbonara Pasta (Cooking for Two)

*** 1/2  Very good, hearty pasta dish that's easy on the ingredients.  Pair with some fresh garlic bread. Adapted from Ted Cavanaugh's Bucatini with Lemony Carbonara.

Servings 2
Author Ted Cavanaugh, Bon Appetit


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 3 oz sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2" pieces (2-3 slices)
  • 2 tbsp onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 6 oz spaghetti, or your favorite pasta
  • 1 oz Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus a little more for the final dish
  • 2 large egg yolks, stirred lightly with a fork
  • 1/2 tsp finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice


  1. Boil a large pot of salted water and add pasta.  Cook and stir occasionally until al dente, about 8 minutes.  Drain and reserve 3/4 cup of the pasta water.

  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Cook the bacon pieces, stirring often, until browned and slightly crisp, 3-4 minutes.  Add the onion and garlic and stir occasionally until softened, about 3 minutes.  Add the pepper and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds.   Turn heat to low.

  3. Add the drained pasta to the pan with the bacon mixture along with 1/4 cup of the pasta water and 1/2 of the Parmesan cheese.  Toss to coat.  Remove the skillet from the heat and add the egg yolks, stirring while adding them.  Toss again and add remaining pasta water if needed.  The sauce should be smooth and glossy.  Add the grated lemon zest, lemon juice and the other 1/2 of the Parmesan.  Toss to coat, taste,  and season with salt if needed.

  4. Divide the pasta among the bowls and add more grated Parmesan if desired.

Recipe Notes

Tips and Stuff:

The original recipe called for shallots, so if you have them feel free to use them.

Be sure and use most of the pasta water to thin the sauce - it will thicken upon sitting for a minute and you need the water so it won't thicken and be gluey.

Next time I'll probably use a little less lemon juice, but hey, it's called Lemony Carbonara Pasta, so it's up to you.