Butter, to grease a 10” pie plate
8 ounces dry spaghetti
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup Romano cheese, grated
2 whole eggs, beaten
8 ounces bacon (about 8 slices), divided *see Note below
1 ½ pounds raw boneless chicken (mix of white and dark)
½ cup onion, diced
Half a red bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon fresh garlic, minced
1 cup whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
Few grinds of nutmeg
1 cup Fontina cheese, shredded on large holes of box grater
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
Butter a 10” deep dish pie plate.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook spaghetti, two minutes short of package directions, in salted water. It still should be a bit chewy. Drain and rinse under tap water to stop cooking. Pour back into the pan after cooled and drained.
Add melted butter, Romano cheese and the two eggs to the cooked spaghetti and mix to combine then pour into the prepared pie plate. Press down and up the sides. Place a parchment circle or plastic wrap over top and press another pie plate down so that it forms a depression. Weight the top plate down and refrigerate while you prepare the remaining ingredients.
Cook the bacon in a large skillet to crisp and remove to paper towels then coarsely chop and set aside. Save three tablespoons of bacon fat and save the remaining fat for some other recipe or dispose.
Coarsely cut up the chicken and place in a food processor and pulse until the meat is chopped. Some pieces can be as large as a grape and others as small as a grain of rice.
Heat the large skillet over medium high heat and add two tablespoons of the bacon fat. Once hot, add the onion, pepper and garlic and cook three minutes.
Add the remaining tablespoon of bacon fat and add the chicken. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink then remove from heat and set aside.
Mix the milk and cream in a microwave safe bowl and heat to hot.
In a small bowl place egg yolk and slowly whisk in about a cup of the hot milk mixture then add that back into the hot milk and whisk. This process tempers the egg yolk so it does not scramble in the hot liquid. Set aside.
In the pan used to cook the spaghetti, heat the butter over medium heat and once melted, add in the flour and cook for about three minutes stirring occasionally.
Whisk in the hot milk mixture one third at a time, letting each third thicken before adding the next.
Season this sauce with salt, pepper, mustard and nutmeg then remove from heat.
Drain off liquid that formed in the bottom of the cooked chicken pan and pour the solids back in along with the cooked sauce, the cooked bacon and the fontina cheese. Stir to combine.
Remove the spaghetti lined dish from the refrigerator and make sure the spaghetti kept its shape up the sides.
Spread the ricotta along the bottom over the spaghetti then pour in the chicken mixture, leaving a spaghetti top edge (like a pie crust edge).
Bake for 40 minutes, remove and sprinkle on the mozzarella then bake for five more minutes.
Place under broiler for 2-3 minutes until golden.
Let the pie sit loosely covered with foil for 20 minutes to set up then cut into six or eight portions and serve with a pie server.
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The bacon you choose for this dish is critical. A very smoky tasting hickory or cheery wood bacon will make the overall dish taste smoky. Bacon is a crucial ingredient in carbonara and this recipe uses 3 tablespoons of bacon fat to saute the vegetables and chicken. Chose a brand you are familiar with and like the overall taste.