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• 1 pound spaghetti

• 1/4 to 1/2 pound thickly sliced good quality bacon


• 2 cloves garlic, peeled

• 2 large eggs

• Black pepper

• 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese, plus extra for the table


Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. When it is boiling, throw the spaghetti in. Most dried spaghetti takes 9 to 10 minutes to cook,and you can make the sauce in that time.


Cut the bacon crosswise into pieces about 1/2 inch wide. Put them in a skillet and cook for 2 minutes, until fat begins to render. Add the whole cloves of garlic and cook another 5 minutes, until the edges of the bacon just begin to get crisp. Do not overcook; if they get too crisp they won't meld with the pasta. Meanwhile, break the eggs into the bowl you will serve the pasta in, and beat them with a fork. Add some grindings of pepper.


Remove the garlic from the bacon pan. If it looks like too much to you, discard some, but you're going to toss the bacon with most of its fat into the pasta. When it is cooked, drain the pasta and immediately throw it into the beaten eggs. Mix thoroughly. The heat of the spaghetti will cook the eggs and turn them into a sauce. Add the bacon with its fat, toss again, add cheese and serve.


Variation: Add 1 cup peas 


Spaghetti Carbonara

This is one of my favorite recipes by Ruth Reichl. It's the perfect last minute dinner.


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