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Simple Pleasures: (Almost) Authentic Spaghetti Carbonara

This light spin on authentic Spaghetti Carbonara uses winter savory and a hint of shallots for a more herby, aromatic punch. It's cheeky, but still keeping it real.
Course Main
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 2
Author Johan Johansen


  • 200 grams of spaghetti
  • 50 grams of pancetta chopped
  • 50 grams of Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
  • One small knob of butter about 25 grams
  • One shallot finely diced
  • One clove of garlic cut into slivers (optional)
  • Two small fresh free-range eggs
  • half a glass of dry white wine
  • a quarter teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg
  • a gentle sprinkle of freshly picked winter savory leaves can substitute plenty of freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Put a large pot of boiling water over high heat.
  2. While water comes to a boil, in a cold, large pan or wok, add chopped pancetta then turn heat to medium and cook stirring occasionally till fat has rendered and pancetta is starting to brown.
  3. Add butter and garlic to pan (if using) and turn heat to low, cook for a few minutes to infuse butter with garlic flavor, make sure garlic doesn't burn!
  4. After a few minutes, fish out garlic slivers, then add shallots, and cook for a few minutes.
  5. When your bowl of water comes to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and cook pasta according to package instructions. Remember to taste for doneness.
  6. Drain pasta, but make sure to reserve a bit of the cooking water.
  7. Add the drained pasta to pan along with a bit of the cooking water and the white wine.
  8. Turn off heat under pan and stir contents to combine.
  9. Add Parmesan cheese, nutmeg and winter savory to the beaten egg and mix well
  10. Move pan off the heat and add egg mixture to pasta while stirring thoroughly and carefully.
  11. Continue to stir and fold pasta until egg mixture is well incorporated, cheese is molten and everything is nice, creamy and shiny. The residual heat will "cook" the egg without scrambling it.
  12. If mixture is too thick and unworkable, add a little more cooking water or another splash of wine if you're feeling generous.
  13. Move pasta to serving plate(s) and serve immediately, drizzled with your most expensive extra virgin olive oil and more cheese if you're feeling cheesy.
  14. If you're not using winter savory, garnish generously with freshly cracked black pepper.