A friend of mine ordered breakfast pasta on vacation recently, and I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since. At first I thought it was absolutely crazy — delicious, but crazy. Then I realized that carbonara already has all my favorite breakfast items in it, and it didn’t seem quite so crazy after all. If we aren’t supposed to eat carbonara for breakfast, then why is it made up of bacon, eggs and cheese??
Instead of using bacon for this recipe, I use a thicker-cut pancetta. You can even buy it already chopped, saving you lots of time, energy and clean up. The difference between pancetta and bacon is that pancetta isn’t smoked like bacon. It uses the same cut of pork and it’s also cured, so they are really similar. If you’ve never used it as a sub for bacon, this will definitely not be your last time.
Sidenote: Have you ever made your own pasta? Is it something I should add to my bucket list? Let me know!
The beauty of this pasta dish is actually in the delicious sauce. Since it is created from eggs and grated cheese, it’s decadently thick and creamy. The heat of the noodles (and some reserved pasta water — don’t forget to set it aside!) cooks the eggs just enough to transform the ingredients into a rich and totally dreamy sauce.
To make it even more breakfast-y, I top off each serving with a fried egg. This really shows a commitment to serving this pasta dish as a morning meal. Besides, no one will be mad about an extra crispy egg with additional yolk to stir into the noodles.
Obviously, this glorious dish does not need to be confined to breakfast. Make it for dinner and stretch it to serve the entire family by adding your favorite protein or vegetable. My personal favorites include asparagus or spinach, but broccoli and chicken would be a fantastic addition as well.
So tell me — have you ever had pasta for breakfast? Is it something you’ll try? If you give the recipe a shot, you have to let me know how you use it. I can’t wait to hear!
Breakfast Carbonara Pasta
- 8 eggs - 2 separated, yolks only
- 1/3 c. grated pecorino Romano
- 1/3 c. grated Parmesan
- 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
- 12 oz. spaghetti
- Bring a large pot of water & 1 tsp of salt to a boil.
- Whisk together 2 eggs and 2 egg yolks. Add the cheese and whisk to combine. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, cook the pancetta until almost crispy (5-7 minutes). Remove with a slotted spoon to paper towels and reserve the rendered fat in the pan.
- Add the pasta to the boiling water. Boil until almost tender (about 3 minutes less than the package directions). Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Return the pasta to the pot and add the egg/cheese mixture stirring constantly. Adding reserved pasta water as needed to achieve a creamy texture. Split pasta between 4 plates and top with pancetta.
- Return the skillet of rendered pancetta fat to medium heat. Crack remaining 4 eggs into skillet; salt and pepper. Cook until the whites are opaque (2 minutes). Turn eggs and cook a minute longer, until the whites are set and yolks are still soft.
- Add eggs to the pasta and serve with an additional sprinkle of grated cheese.