Creamy Bacon and Egg Pasta with Bacon-Fried Eggs

published May 19, 2022
Creamy Bacon and Egg Pasta with Bacon-Fried Eggs

This spaghetti dish is a delicious, carb-filled way to start any morning.

Serves4 to 6

Prep15 minutes

Cook30 minutes

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Credit: Sara Tane

Some might argue that a “breakfast pasta” already exists, and that it goes by the name of carbonara. I mean, any pasta that features eggs, cheese, and salty pork products sounds like something you might enjoy for a luxurious breakfast. However, this pasta differs from a classic carbonara — something I know a little something about as the author of Kitchn’s carbonara recipe showdown — because it incorporates white cheddar cheese, crispy bacon, and a fried egg on top.

This recipe begins with bacon, which is always a strong start. Cooking the bacon gives you delicious, crispy bacon, of course, but it also creates bacon fat, which you’ll use to fry the eggs. The pro move here is to tilt the pan as you fry the eggs so the bacon grease pools in the corner. Scoop up some of that smoky goodness with a spoon and use it to baste the egg whites as they cook.

Timing is key for this recipe because the silky pasta is best served straight out of the skillet, so it’s important to put your pasta water on to boil while the bacon cooks. While the bacon sizzles you’ll whisk up the egg, cheese, and pepper mixture that will become the sauce. White cheddar cheese is a nontraditional ingredient for carbonara, but I wanted to include it in this breakfast pasta because it reminds me of a classic bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich, plus it gives the dish a subtle sharpness and creaminess that Parmesan alone doesn’t provide.

When the spaghetti goes into the boiling water, it’s time to fry the eggs. When the eggs are done, you’ll set them aside and get ready for the main event: the pasta. You’ll drain the spaghetti, toss with the bacon and a little pasta water, then toss it off the heat with the egg-and-cheese mixture, adding pasta water as needed to create a creamy sauce that clings to the pasta. The beauty of this sauce is its deliciousness and speed: It comes together in two minutes flat.

Swirl the bacon-studded pasta into bowls, top with the crispy bacon-fried eggs, and add a generous amount of black pepper. Serve with coffee, orange juice, or maybe mimosas made with Prosecco in honor of this dish’s Italian inspiration.

If You Make Breakfast Pasta, A Few Tips

  • Turn off the heat before you sauce the pasta. To ensure a silky-smooth sauce, be sure to add the egg and cheese mixture off the heat. If the pan still feels super hot from crisping the bacon, give it a minute or two to cool down before adding the egg mixture to the pasta. If the pan is too hot, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs instead of a silky sauce (ask me how I know this).
  • Have some pasta water handy. Use as much reserved pasta water as you need to help the sauce come together. Add a little bit at a time and stop once the sauce is glossy and clings to the spaghetti.

Hungry for more breakfasty takes on dinner classics? Check out the other recipes in my Dinner for Breakfast series.

Creamy Bacon and Egg Pasta with Bacon-Fried Eggs

This spaghetti dish is a delicious, carb-filled way to start any morning.

Prep time 15 minutes

Cook time 30 minutes

Serves 4 to 6

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Kosher salt

  • 8 ounces

    slab or thick-cut bacon

  • 1 ounce

    Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 firmly packed cup freshly grated or 1/3 cup store-bought grated)

  • 1 ounce

    sharp white cheddar cheese

  • 4

    large egg yolks

  • 5 to 7

    large eggs, divided

  • 1/2 teaspoon

    freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

  • 1 pound

    dried spaghetti or linguine pasta

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, cut 8 ounces slab bacon into 1/2-inch cubes, or cut 8 ounces thick-cut bacon crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a large nonstick or cast-iron skillet and cook over medium heat until fat is rendered and bacon is crispy, 9 to 10 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, finely grate 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup firmly packed) or measure out 1/3 cup store-bought grated. Finely grate 1 ounce white sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/2 cup). Place both cheeses, 4 large egg yolks, 1 large egg, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper in a medium bowl and whisk until combined.

  3. When the bacon is ready, transfer it to a small bowl with a slotted spoon and reserve the pan.

  4. Add 1 pound dried spaghetti or linguine to the boiling water and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes or according to the package instructions. Meanwhile, heat the bacon fat in the skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Cooking in 2 batches if needed, add the remaining 4 large eggs (or 6 if serving 6) and fry until the whites are crispy and the yolks are still runny, 3 to 4 minutes. Tilt the skillet slightly while they cook so the bacon fat pools and use a large spoon to baste the whites with the fat as needed. Season with kosher salt and black pepper and transfer to a baking sheet or plate and keep warm near the stove.

  5. When the pasta is ready, reserve 1 cup of the pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot over medium-low heat. Add the bacon and a splash of the reserved pasta water and toss to combine. Turn off the heat. Add the cheese mixture and stir with tongs, adding more pasta water as needed, until the sauce is thickened and coats the pasta, about 2 minutes. Taste and season with kosher salt and black pepper as needed.

  6. Divide the pasta between 4 or 6 bowls and top each with a fried egg. Serve immediately, as this does not reheat well.