Heart Burn (1986) – Spaghetti Carbonara

When it comes to food, there are some dishes that are just inherently romantic. Whether it’s the rich flavors, the indulgent ingredients, or the simple act of sharing a meal, there’s something undeniably special about dining with someone you love. And if there’s one dish that perfectly embodies this sentiment, it’s spaghetti carbonara.

In Nora Ephron’s novel Heart Burn which was later adapted into a movie starring Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson, the main characters share a memorable first meal together of spaghetti carbonara in bed at 4 in the morning of their first date. It’s a scene that has become iconic in both the book and the film, and for good reason.

There’s something incredibly intimate about sharing a meal in bed with someone, especially when that meal is as delicious and comforting as spaghetti carbonara. The dish itself is simple, yet indulgent, with its rich sauce of eggs, cheese, and bacon or pancetta. And the act of twirling the noodles around your fork and savoring each bite is the perfect way to connect with someone on a deeper level.

Of course, you don’t need to wait until 4 in the morning to enjoy spaghetti carbonara with your loved one. In fact, it’s a dish that’s perfect for any time of day or night. Whether you’re looking for a cozy date night in or a luxurious breakfast in bed, spaghetti carbonara is sure to hit the spot.

To make your own version of this romantic dish, start by cooking spaghetti until it’s al dente. While the pasta is cooking, fry up some bacon or pancetta in a pan until it’s crispy, then remove it from the pan and set it aside. In a bowl, whisk together some eggs and grated Parmesan cheese, then season with salt and pepper.

Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain it and reserve some of the pasta water. Add the spaghetti to the pan with the bacon or pancetta, and toss it together with the fat from the bacon. Remove the pan from the heat, then pour in the egg and cheese mixture, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens and coats the noodles. If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with some of the reserved pasta water.

Serve the spaghetti carbonara in bowls or on plates, topped with extra Parmesan cheese and some freshly cracked black pepper. And of course, don’t forget to share it with someone special.

In the end, it’s not just the taste of spaghetti carbonara that makes it so romantic. It’s the act of sharing it with someone you love, whether it’s in bed at 4 in the morning or at any other time of day. So go ahead, whip up a batch of this delicious dish and savor each bite with your partner. You won’t regret it.

How to make creamy Spaghetti Carbonara

Course: MainDifficulty: X

Now, for some history facts about spaghetti alla carbonara:
The origins of spaghetti carbonara are somewhat murky, with several theories about where and how the dish was first created. One popular story is that it was invented by Italian coal miners, who would cook pasta and bacon over an open flame, then mix in eggs and cheese for a quick and hearty meal.
Another theory is that the dish was created in Rome after World War II, when American soldiers introduced locals to bacon and eggs as a breakfast food. Italians then adapted the dish, using pasta instead of toast and adding Parmesan cheese for flavor.
Regardless of its origins, spaghetti carbonara has become one of the most popular pasta dishes in the world, thanks in part to its rich and indulgent flavors. While there are many variations of the recipe, the classic version usually includes spaghetti, eggs, Parmesan cheese, and either bacon or pancetta.
Despite its popularity, spaghetti carbonara remains a controversial dish among some purists, who argue that cream or other ingredients should not be added to the sauce. But whether you prefer your carbonara with or without cream, there’s no denying that it’s a delicious and satisfying dish that’s perfect for sharing with someone you love.


  • 1 pound spaghetti

  • 1/2 pound guanciale, pancetta or bacon, diced

  • 4 large eggs

  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add spaghetti and cook until al dente.
  • While the pasta is cooking, cook the pancetta or bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the eggs and Parmesan cheese until well combined.
  • Drain the spaghetti, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water.
  • Add the spaghetti to the skillet with the pancetta or bacon and toss to combine.
  • Remove the skillet from the heat and add the egg mixture, stirring constantly until the eggs are cooked and the sauce is thick and creamy. If the sauce is too thick, add some of the reserved cooking water.
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve immediately.

Recipe Video


  • In the movie “Heartburn,” the scene where Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson enjoy spaghetti carbonara in bed at 4 in the morning was actually inspired by a real-life experience that Nora Ephron had with her second husband, writer Nicholas Pileggi.
  • The use of raw egg yolks in spaghetti carbonara has led to some concern about food safety. However, many chefs argue that as long as the eggs are fresh and of high quality, there is little risk of foodborne illness.
  • In Italy, spaghetti carbonara is often enjoyed as a late-night snack after a night of drinking and socializing. It’s a popular dish among young people, who call it “spaghetti alla pecoraia,” which translates to “shepherd-style spaghetti.”
  • Despite its popularity, spaghetti carbonara remains a relatively simple dish to prepare, with just a handful of ingredients and a straightforward cooking process. It’s the perfect dish for a romantic evening in or a cozy night with friends.