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Pregnant and Craving Carbonara

Hey fellow chow hounds.

I have a problem. I am pregnant and I want carbonara. So I was wondering do the eggs get cooked enough to be "safe". I would appreciate any feed back and also if anyone has any egg free recipes that would quench my craving.

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  1. I think they do but it is questionable, a good substitute for the whole egg would be to use some liquid egg . Its been pasturized but will more or less act the same in the recipe. ussually in the dairy section next to the egg beaters

    1 Reply
    1. re: coastie

      I don't think that would work. The best carbonara recipes separate out the whites and the yolk.

      I think the eggs to cook, but I don't want to recommend you do it. I use Mario Batali's recipe and the whites definitely get cooked as they are put in the pan with the hot pasta, etc. The yolks in his recipe are put into a well after the pasta is plated. Its the best recipe I've come across.

      A somewhat decent substitute would be too make cacio e pepe and add some guanciale/pancetta/bacon to it.

    2. Check at your local co-op, farmer's market, natural/organic foods stores. The eggs I get from a local farmer are pasturized and are delicious excellent eggs.

      1. I make it for my daughter and i just toss the noodles over gentle heat for a while to make sure the eggs get warm. This makes the sauce curdle a bit but the flavor is there. SHe is 16 mo old and loooooves it.
        It is the Cook's illustrated recipe and I can look it up if you want. really easy and flavorful. I usually make it when I do not have anything else for dinner and it is also really good with ham instead of bacon.

        i assume you have the creamy/salty/smoky craving...I can so relate!!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ela0427

          I would love the CI recipe (another preggo here to whom carbonara is sounding mighty tasty!)

        2. I make the Marcella Hazan version and the eggs are tossed right with the just drained pasta. I would think it was cooked enough to be safe.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Megiac

            i use a similar recipe. i would probably go ahead and do it, using organic free range eggs as Miss Needle suggests for minimal salmonella risk

            but if you have any reservations, maybe some noodles dressed with good olive oil or butter, some cured pork of choice, grating cheese-- you would get your fix, maybe?

          2. I think that the egg would be cooked enough from mixing it with the hot pasta. I would definitely use eggs that are organic and from free-range hens.

            While I don't advocating eating raw eggs, I would like to share something with you. I saw Dr. Joseph Mercola last weekend. He claims that incidence of salmonella in eggs is 1 in 30,000. And incidence of salmonella in an egg does not necessarily indicate poisoning. He states that if your immune system is strong enough, you shouldn't have any symptoms. However, I think if you're pregnant, it's better to be cautious.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Miss Needle

              Yes - when one of our close friends was pregnant I stopped making the mayonnaise for anything I served her, until I found some pasteurized whole egg at the local Sysco store. Haven't been able to find that anymore - did they stop making it? - but for carbonara made the usual way, with the egg beaten up, I think a decent egg-white product with minimal additives (I'm using NuLaid ReddiEgg these days, and it's actually tasty) would do the trick. Hmmm...once again a question on this board gives me my supper idea!

              1. re: Will Owen

                I used to find the pasteurized whole eggs (in the shell) at TJ's in the southland, but at some point stopped seeing them there, too. (And then moved east, where as far as I know, they've never been spotted at all) Maybe they're too unpopular, or too cost-intensive, to stock? I was always surprised how cheap they were at TJ's...

            2. Yes. We ate this with my brother (a doctor) and his pregnant wife. Used raw eggs, and the pasta is SO hot they cook - just don't drain, rinse or let pasta sit - hot pasta, egg sauce, and maybe a toss in a sauce pan with the pancetta to finish - the heat will be fine, and if worried, take a quick read with a thermometer. Or, if really worried, add a touch of cream to your plate, toss, and nuke it for 30 secs. It'll be fine.

              1. I have used whole egg mayo such as best Foods, S&W and Norganics as the base for a carbonara with good results... fry off your bacon, cook your pasta, put pasta back in the pot, mix in mayo and bacon.

                Make sure it doesn't cook the mayo.. you just want to heat it... cooked mayo goes weird and glassy...

                1. I mix the egg into the pasta while it's still on the stove on a low heat and stir it around for long enough to make sure that egg is cooked... but if you're concerned why not just buy a carton of pasteurised eggs and use them! They cost a bit more than plain ones (okay, a lot more) but you'd be sure that they were safe...

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Kajikit

                    Where do you get pasteurized eggs? I've seen whole pasteurized ones in a carton, all beaten up like Eggbeaters, but never in the shell.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      I am pregnant and had the same craving. The eggs indeed exist...Davidson's is the brand I used, pasteurized in their shell. Sadly I can't find them in NYC but had my mother bring up a dozen from Pennsylvania when she was visiting. Oh man, did I have a delicious carbonara tonight with both fresh cut bacon from our local butcher and some great pancetta. We also poached a couple of the Davidson eggs to serve over top, all runny, as a favorite local restaurant does. Those eggs are a pregnanty woman's life saver.

                  2. How about coddling the egg first to reduce the risk of salmonela poisioning?

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: chef chicklet

                      Thanks for all the tips guys. I chose to take the plunge and have the carbonara. I made sure that the egg was good and hot before I ate it and everything was just fine. Now that craving has passed and is being replaced with the insatiable craving for potatoes

                      1. re: applejuice

                        OK....boil russet potatoes and slice them when cool. butter a baking dish and layer the following. Potatoes, thin layer of sour cream, layer of feta cheese, layer of sliced hardboiled eggs, follow with more potatoes. you can keep going for a while. top with a thin layer of sour cream and feta. bake at 350 till cheese is warm..maybe 20 min. In Romania this is called "french potatoes". my ultimate comfort food.

                        1. re: Ela0427

                          ELA0427, my goodness!!! Potatoes being my favorite food ever, and then eggs too! This is my dream recipe! I can't see a thing wrong with your recipe!
                          Do you cover, then remove the cover, and do you have a problem with the sour cream curdling at all? YUM!

                    2. As long as you don't let the pasta cool off much and retain a little hot cooking liquid, the eggs will be cooked just enough... you don't want scrambled eggs, after all.

                      Besides, I pick up pretty good looking eggs, so I don't really have any qualms about eating them raw... the yolks anyways. Raw egg whites are just not appetizing.