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Sungold Tomato Spaghetti Carbonara

Famed food stylist and photographer Susan Spungen shares a delicious seasonal recipe for spaghetti with sungold tomatoes.

spaghetti with tomatoes
Susan Spungen|

Sungold spaghetti carbonara. Photo: Susan Spungen

Food stylist and photographer Susan Spungen is out with a new cookbook that's perfect for summer cooking. Veg Forward: Super-Delicious Recipes That Put Produce at the Center of Your Plate features all kinds of clever uses for farmer's market finds. Like this sungold tomato spaghetti carbonara, which will surely become part of your summer Italian cooking repertoire.

Authentic spaghetti carbonara is made with eggs and little cubes of pancetta, guanciale, or sometimes bacon. It’s a last-minute cook’s salvation, the kind of thing that can be put together at a moment’s notice—a very simple dish that’s all in the execution and the quality of the ingredients. Adding Sungolds, the golden-orange cherry tomatoes that have a lot more sweetness than the red ones, brings sunny color and bright acidity to the rich pasta dish. Black pepper is an important seasoning—the name carbonara is a reference to the abundant black pepper that looks like bits of carbon—so it should be visible when you present the dish.



Recipe by Susan Spungen
4.0 from 2 votes


Prep time


Cooking time




  • 2 large 2 eggs, at room temperature

  • 2 large 2 egg yolks, at room temperature

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 1 ounce finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving

  • 1/2 cup 1/2 1 ounce finely grated pecorino, plus more for serving

  • 4 ounces 4 guanciale (jowl bacon) or pancetta (cured Italian bacon), cubed

  • 1 tablespoon 1 kosher salt, plus more if needed

  • 1 pound 1 dried spaghetti

  • 1 pint 1 Sungold tomatoes, halved (about 2 cups)

  • Freshly ground pepper


  • Whisk the eggs and yolks in a small bowl until just combined. Whisk in thecheeses. Set aside.
  • Place the guanciale or pancetta in a large (12-inch) skillet and set over medium heat.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until the cubes are crisp on the outside and much of the fat has rendered out, 10 to 12 minutes.
  • Scoop out the meat and drain on paper towels, leaving the fat in the pan. Remove the pan from the heat.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the salt. Cook the spaghetti until al dente. Before draining the pasta, reserve about 1 cup of the cooking water.
  • Drain the pasta and add to the pan with the reserved fat.
  • Stir in the egg mixture quickly, tossing to coat the pasta evenly.
  • Add the tomatoes, season with plenty of black pepper, and toss again.
  • Add a little of the reserved pasta water (start with 1/4 cup) to thin out to the desired creamy consistency.
  • Add salt to taste if needed.
  • If the sauce needs thickening, heat the pan, gently tossing, until the sauce clings to the pasta. Add the reserved meat.
  • Divide among bowls, top each serving with a few grinds of pepper, and serve immediately, with more grated cheese on the side.


  • Guanciale, a cured meat made from the jowl of the pig, is traditional for carbonara, but it can be a little tricky to find. Pancetta is the next best thing, but regular smoked bacon works too. Buy the thickest cut you can find and cut into little cubes.
  • You can substitute regular cherry tomatoes for the Sungolds.

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