Pasta Carbonara #CooktheBooksClub

Eek!  I’m flying in at the last minute with my Cook the Books Club recipe! 

Would you believe that I’ve had the book read since May and the recipe made in June?  But here I am at the last minute, because my grad school class (yes, in the singular) was legit crazy this summer?


We’re talking 35+ articles to read plus 4 assignments and a major project per week.  It was nuts. 

PLUS – I’ve spent days being mom (baseball-basketball-piano lessons-library-pool-bike rides (all my favorites!)), so I’ve been doing homework at night (usually from 10pm-2am)!  AHHHH!!!


The semester doesn’t finish until Friday, but I powered through and I’M DONE!!! WOOT!!!  Only one semester to go and I’m officially a certified librarian!  YAAASSSSS!

So anyway, Cook the Books…

This month’s book was Garlic and Sapphires by Ruth Reichl and was hosted by Claudia from Honey from Rock.

I read one of Reichl’s previous memoirs for CtBC a couple years ago (I made a twist on French Onion Soup and it was delicious) and I enjoyed reading about her then – this time I loved it even more.  It was fascinating to read about Reichl’s time as the Times Food Critic!  I loved reading about her disguises and that she included some of her reviews and recipes to go along with them.

Spaghetti Carbonara is a recipe she made for her son.  I decided to take the challenge and make it after fearing it for years!

I’ve always been a little freaked out about the eggs (yet I eat raw cookie dough – I dunno, go figure).

I actually have had Spaghetti Carbonara once before, and while it was delicious, I was underwhelmed (the bacon was soft instead of crisp).

However, the book inspired me to finally give it a try and boy was I glad I did!  The eggs were nothing to be scared about, I made sure the bacon was cooked crisply, and the pasta was AMAZING!  The entire family inhaled this recipe and it is definitely one I’ll be making again…fearlessly!

Spaghetti Carbonara
Adapted from Sapphires and Garlic

1 lb thick-cut bacon, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 eggs
¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
Pepper, to taste
13 oz whole wheat spaghetti
Minced parsley, optional

Cook the bacon until crisp.  If the bacon is very fatty, drain off all except about 3 tablespoons of the drippings.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and set aside.

Whisk together the eggs and parmesan.  Season with pepper, to taste.

Cook the spaghetti to al dente in a large pot of salted water.  Drain.

Add the hot spaghetti to the skillet with the bacon.  Toss to mix.  Add the egg mixture and continue to toss until completely mixed.  The residual heat from the pasta will cook the eggs into a silky smooth sauce.  Serve immediately, topped with a sprinkling of parsley, if desired.


  1. Looks so delicious I could dive right in - great photos - and glad you enjoyed the book Amy.

  2. I also loved this book and I recently made my first carbonara....kindred spirits. Can't wait to see you in November and big congratulations on your winning the slow cooker contest for Taste of Home.

  3. This is absolutely my favorite Reichl dish ever. That is a delicious mound of pasta, Amy! Congrats on your semester conclusion with one semester to go! Whoot whoot!

  4. Carbonara is my biggest pasta temptation, although I've never made it myself. I'm so glad you did and that it turned out well! On my 'must do' list, for sure.

  5. Oh it's so unfair to post a delicious pasta like this in the heart of summer, when I'm trying to stick to pasta with fresh veggies from the garden. Nonetheless a great choice! I enjoyed this book immensely, particularly her descriptive prose about the good she ate. I live near NYC but never in my life could I afford those places

  6. Congratulations on challenging your fear, Amy. Sometimes we place limitations on ourselves and it is good to nudge us beyond those to discover the truth.


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