Sunday Supper: Pasta Carbonara

April 20, 2014 | By | Comments (4)

Happy Easter! If you’re enjoying one of our flavorful glazed ham recipes from last week’s Sunday Supper, we have the perfect solution for your leftovers—pasta carbonara.

Country Ham Carbonara; Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

Country Ham Carbonara; Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Vanessa McNeil Rocchio

Anyone can make this simple but highly satisfying Italian classic—a creamy sauce made from olive oil, gently cooked egg yolks, Parmesan cheese, cured pork such as pancetta or bacon, and cracked black pepper is tossed with noodles such as spaghetti or fettuccine.

While many theories of carbonara’s origin exist, the exact story behind the dish is vague and rather mysterious. Surprisingly, the earliest cookbook to mention carbonara dates from the 1950s, implying that it is a recent invention. However, some attribute the dish to the Carbonari, a secret revolutionary society that formed in Italy during the early 19th century. Others say the dish was created by the Carbinai, charcoal producers who lived and worked in forests for months on end. As a result, they carried ingredients that would not easily spoil, such as cured pork and cheese. Here’s the catch—given their isolation, how would the Carbinai have obtained fresh eggs?

Whatever the story is, we can’t get enough of this intensely comforting dish. Below, we’ve created a two-day Easter dinner plan so you can make the most of what’s already in your pantry. Simply substitute your leftover ham for the country ham in the recipe we’ve given you. Be extra careful when adding uncooked eggs to the pasta—ideally, you want to cook the eggs just enough to thicken the sauce. Don’t be afraid to go heavy with the cracked pepper either. (We love the extra kick it lends!)

The Two-Day Easter Dinner Plan

Sunday: Make one of our glazed ham recipes from last week’s Sunday Supper.

Monday: Use what’s leftover to make our Country Ham Carbonara. Enjoy!


  1. Elizabeth Laseter

    We love to answer all of your cooking questions! Call or e-mail the Test Kitchen Hotline from 5 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday. Phone: 205/445-6351 or 800/366-4712, ext. 66351. Email:

    April 22, 2014 at 9:58 am
  2. Haydee Salvador

    I baked the Strawberry Lemonade cake for Easter, the cake was OK, but the frosting was melting so quick! What was wrong? I followed the recipe!

    April 21, 2014 at 5:49 pm
  3. Shirley Gibson

    Baked the Strawberry-lemonade layer cake for Easter; everyone liked it. The cake turned out crumbly though. What happened? Followed recipe

    April 21, 2014 at 12:55 pm
  4. Debra Barnes

    Fresh eggs? Maybe they had chickens???? ya think?

    April 21, 2014 at 12:11 pm

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