The luxurious, velvety texture of a good pasta carbonara is ephemeral at best, so you must enjoy it right away. Tempering the egg with hot pasta water keeps the sauce creamy by preventing it from curdling. For a smoky taste, use bacon in place of pancetta.
4 ounces uncooked linguine
1/2 cup 1% low-fat milk
3 tablespoons grated fresh Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup chopped pancetta (about 1 1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 garlic clove, minced
1 large egg
How to Make It
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain pasta in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1/4 cup cooking liquid.
Combine milk and next 4 ingredients (through pepper) in a small bowl; set milk mixture aside.
Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add pancetta to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add onion and garlic to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add milk mixture and pasta to pan; toss gently to coat.
Place egg in a small bowl; stir with a whisk. Gradually add 1/4 cup reserved hot cooking liquid, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add egg mixture to pan, stirring constantly; cook 4 minutes or until sauce is thick and creamy.