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Quick And Easy Pasta Dinner Recipes: Spaghetti Carbonara With Pancetta And Spinach

Updated on February 2, 2012

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes: Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach

Several years ago, when I was visiting Yellowstone National Park, we went out to dinner with my son and his wife. We discovered this fabulous bar and grill in Jackson Hole that served spaghetti carbonara.

I'd heard of it before but I'd never had it. I so enjoyed it that we ended up going back one more time before we went home just so I could have it again....and I still loved it!

This is a bit of an improvisation of the traditional carbonara because I used pancetta. You can also use regular bacon or other Italian meats that are similar to bacon, but I liked the pancetta since it was chopped and just the way I remember it from Jackson Hole. You can get it as crisp as you like, too.

I didn't have a dry white wine so I substituted Marsala and thought it was marvelous.

You can also use egg substitute as I did for half or all of the eggs.

I added spinach just because I try and add spinach to most everything! I find that it gives things a great added flavor but it's also good for you. You can leave that out if you're not partial to spinach and it will taste just as delicious.

Also try other hard Italian cheeses that are similar in flavor or texture to Parmesan or shaved cheeses.

No matter how you prepare it, I think you'll like Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach!

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from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner
from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner
from the kitchen of Audrey Kirchner

Spaghetti Carbonara with Pancetta and Spinach

6-8 Servings


  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package chopped pancetta
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine (used Marsala)
  • 4 beaten eggs (used 2 eggs and 1/2 cup egg substitute)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh or frozen fresh spinach leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese


  1. In large pan of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti according to package directions. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Set aside.
  2. In large skillet, cook the pancetta until it begins to turn brown or become a little crispy. Remove and drain on paper towels. Leave a bit of the fat in the pan or remove and spray with cooking spray. If you leave some of the fat (about 1 tablespoon), cook the onions and garlic in that until the onions start to become transparent. If not using pancetta fat, then use about a tablespoon of olive oil to saute the onions and garlic.
  3. Add wine to the onions and garlic and cook for about 1 minute.
  4. Add pancetta back into the pan. Add the cooked spaghetti noodles and toss to coat and heat all the way through.
  5. Add in spinach. If mixture is too dry, add a bit of olive oil. Make sure you toss until heated through.
  6. Slowly pour in the beaten eggs and cook in the skillet, constantly tossing with spaghetti tongs or fork until the eggs are barely set.
  7. Toss in 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese and toss some more. Add salt and pepper to taste although with the Parmesan and pancetta, you really could do without the salt.
  8. Serve immediately with parsley sprinkled on top if desired and a little extra Parmesan cheese.

Quick and Easy Dinner Recipes: Carbonara with Spinach

This makes a fantastically easy dinner whether it's just for the family or you're having company.

Add a tossed green salad, a crusty loaf of Italian bread fresh from the oven, a bottle of wine and you've got a delicious quick and easy dinner.

For dessert, try a light and fruity sorbet or maybe a biscuit tortoni.

You can't go wrong with Italian as most people love Italian food. If bacon or pancetta are not on your dietary plan, this spaghetti recipe also is great without it.

This is a great quick and easy dinner recipe and is something you can whip up from scratch without really feeling like you spent all day in the kitchen.

I hope you enjoy my quick and easy dinner recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara with Spinach!

The Original Recipe for Spaghetti Carbonara


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