Pasta Carbonara

I know – it’s raining and it’s gray outside, and, no, we cannot complain because this is exactly the weather the Bay Area needs. What we can do, though, is make Carbonara, the Italians’ version of chicken soup – the cure-all answer to comfort food. After all, on a dreary January day, who can resist a steaming bowl of pasta coated in a creamy, cheesy, egg-enriched sauce, studded with crispy bacon bits and sweet green peas?

I thought so. Now don’t you feel better?

Spaghetti Carbonara with Sweet Peas

Make sure that you remove the skillet from the heat when you combine the eggs and the pasta – this will prevent the eggs from scrambling while you mix.

Serves 4


  • 1 pound spaghetti or bucatini

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

  • 6 ounces thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1 cup finely grated Pecorino Romano cheese, plus more for sprinkling

  • 1 cup thawed frozen sweet peas
2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until al dente; drain.

  2. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the bacon, stirring to separate the pieces, and cook until the fat is rendered and the bacon is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer the bacon with a slotted spoon to a plate lined with a paper towel.
While the bacon is cooking, whisk the eggs and cheese in a bowl until smooth; set aside.

  4. Drain off all but 2 tablespoons fat from the skillet. Add the peas, garlic, red pepper flakes, and salt and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  5. Add the drained pasta and stir to combine. Remove the pan from the heat and quickly add the eggs and cheese, stirring constantly to coat the pasta and to prevent the eggs from scrambling. Return the bacon to the pan and stir once more.
  6. Serve immediately with extra cheese for sprinkling.

Lynda Balslev

Lynda Balslev is an award-winning food writer, editor and recipe developer based in the San Francisco Bay area. She authors the nationally syndicated column and blog TasteFood, and co-authored the cookbook Almonds: Recipes, History, Culture (2015 Silver Medal Winner Independent Publisher Awards). She is the 2011 recipient of the Chronicle Books Award (Recipe Writing) to the Symposium for Professional Food Writers, and a 2018 Fellowship Award recipient to the Symposium for Wine Writers at Meadowood, Napa Valley. Lynda’s writing and photography have been recognized by the New York Times Diners Journal, the Los Angeles Times, The Huffington Post and more.