Oct 072015


Spaghetti Carbonara is a traditional Italian dish made with Pancetta bacon. It’s very good. This is not Carbonara, it’s Carburetor, or more commonly spelled Carberator, and is the plebeian alternative to Carbonara. My husband Fred, coined the title many years ago, and it has stuck ever since.

To make this recipe gluten-free use GF spaghetti. Hormel brand chunk ham is gluten-free according to their website, and I can attest to the quality.

I have not been successful in making this dish dairy-free. To my taste buds, dairy-free parmesan alternative just doesn’t cut it with Carburetor. Still, you may feel differently, so feel free to sub it in if you want to give it a try.

Spaghetti Carburetor


  • 8 to 12 ounces dry spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup butter or alternative of your choice
  • 5 ounce can chunk ham
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 fresh egg OR 2 tablespoons Ova Easy egg crystals combined with 3-tablespoons of water
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan Cheese, or more to taste


First prepare the spaghetti according to package direction. While it’s cooking make the sauce.

In a small saucepan melt the butter or alternative over medium heat. Flake the ham into small bits and add it to the butter along with any liquid from the can. Also add the garlic powder. Simmer the ham until it absorbs most of the butter.

Meanwhile crack the egg into a small cup and beat it well. Or combine the powdered egg and water in a small cup. Stir until smooth and set aside. Measure the cheese and set it aside too.

When the spaghetti is tender drain it well and return it to the pot. Add the ham and butter, cheese and finally the egg. Toss well with a fork until the spaghetti is evenly coated with the sauce. Add a few sprinkles of black pepper and a little dried parsley if desired. Toss again and serve at once.

Technically speaking, this recipe is supposed to feed 4-people of moderate appetites, as part of a meal. In reality I have seen a hungry mountain man, who had hiked all day in the snow, eat the entire thing in one sitting and then have a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dessert. In my experience, when prepared with 12-ounces of pasta, this recipe makes enough for 2-very hungry people, as part of a meal, or 3-people of more moderate appetites. If you are serving a hungry family of 5 or 6 you will have to double it. If you are playing in the snow all day, or doing lots of outside work, it will serve 2 as part of a meal.

Make it a meal by serving garlic bread, canned spinach, pears and chocolate pudding. In this case you might get as many as 4-servings out of the whole meal.

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