One-pan Pork Belly Carbonara
If you’re anything like me and you hate doing dishes, cooking a pasta dish in one pan is a great way to prepare a meal without worrying about the extra pot of water, straining the noodles, and cleaning up additional kitchen tools. This one-pan pork belly/bacon carbonara is a great way to try out this one-pan technique and only requires 7 common ingredients, most of which are probably already in your pantry—spaghetti, pork belly or bacon, garlic, salt, eggs, parsley, and parmesan cheese.
This is certainly not the healthiest dish—but believe me, it’s so worth the calories. Pork belly is one of my go-to comfort foods, and I love eating it in ramen, pork adobo, Korean BBQ, and hot pot. Because it’s seen more in Asian cooking, it can sometimes be hard to find at the grocery store. If you can’t find pork belly, feel free to substitute it with thick-cut slices of bacon. In these photos, I added a bit of applewood smoked bacon into the mix since I only had a few slices of pork belly left.
Because this dish can become rather heavy with the pork belly, cheese, and egg yolks, be sure to add lots of freshly chopped parsley on top to balance everything out.
One-pan Pork Belly Carbonara
Ingredients (serves 2-3 people)
- 8 oz (230g) spaghetti
- 4 strips of thinly-sliced pork belly or bacon*
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 egg yolks
- parmesan cheese
- salt + pepper
* The pork belly slices used for hot pot/shabu shabu would be best!
Takes , Makes 2-3 servings.
- Chop up the pork belly into half-inch pieces. If you can't find pork belly, feel free to use bacon. In my photos, I used a combination of both.
- Sprinkle salt and pepper onto the pork belly. If you're using bacon, you can skip the salt.
- Finely chop the parsley and set it aside for garnish later.
- Chop the garlic into thin pieces to fry up with the pork belly.
- In a large pan (with a bit of depth), fry up the pork belly or bacon until it becomes crispy and renders its fat. If it doesn't release too much oil, feel free to add a little more canola or vegetable oil to the pan. Add in the garlic slices when the pork belly is mostly cooked, making sure to stir them around often since garlic can burn easily. When the pork belly renders its fat and becomes crispy, take the garlic and pork belly out of the pan and drain them on a paper towel, leaving the rendered fat in the pan.
- With the heat down, add the spaghetti to the pan and enough water to completely submerge the spaghetti. Turn the heat up and let the water cook the spaghetti, leaving the lid off the pan to let the water evaporate. Move the noodles around to prevent them from sticking together. Be sure to scrape off the bottom of the pan as well to incorporate the pork/bacon fat into the noodles.
- When the water evaporates and the noodles are finished cooking, add back in the bacon and garlic and incorporate them into the spaghetti. If all the water evaporates and the noodles are not yet cooked, feel free to add more water to the pan.
- Season the noodles and pork belly with more salt and pepper to taste. Note that if you're using bacon, you won't need as much salt since the bacon itself provides a lot of the saltiness to this dish.
- Turn off the heat and let the pan cool down. Fold in two egg yolks carefully. It's crucial you do this on a slightly-cooled pan so that the eggs don't scramble.
- Garnish with the freshly chopped parsley from earlier and grate parmesan cheese on top.
- Serve while still hot, and enjoy family style!