Some foods require planning, prep time, and special ingredients. This is not one of them. I'd be willing to bet that at least 70% of Americans have the basic ingredients for pasta carbonara on hand at any given time - pasta, bacon, eggs, some sort of salty grated cheese and cream or milk. Throw in some veggies of your choice and you've got dinner in the time it takes to boil the pasta.
Of course, everything is better when made from scratch. So I've used my own homemade spaghetti here, but this is just as satisfying with the store-bought variety. This is also a meal that in a month or two can be completely local (except for the flour in the pasta), since the eggs, cream, bacon and cheese were all from Springfield Farm and once late spring rolls around we'll start getting our leeks and spinach from One Star Farm.
4-5 slices bacon, cut into thin strips
1 cup cleaned white and light green parts of leeks, sliced into thin half moons
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
1 lb. fresh spaghetti (or boxed)
3 jumbo or 4 large eggs
2 Tbsp heavy cream
1/3 cup grated parmeggiano reggiano or other salty hard cheese
1 Tbsp coarsely ground black pepper
Fill a stockpot with water, salt it generously and place it over high heat for the pasta.
In a medium saucepan, saute bacon until crisp. Add leeks and saute until slightly tender. Drain some of the bacon fat out of the pan, then deglaze with white wine. Turn off the heat and add spinach, stirring occasionally while the spinach wilts.
In the meantime, start cooking the pasta. Fresh pasta only takes 1-3 minutes so keep an eye on it.
While the pasta cooks, combine the eggs with the cream, cheese and black pepper and whisk to combine. Temper the eggs by whisking in some of the hot wine then pouring the egg mixture into the pan, constantly stirring until the mixture thickens and comes up to temperature (the heat on the burner should remain turned off, it's just residual heat that cooks it). You don't want to scramble the eggs.
Drain the pasta and toss with the eggy bacon and veggie mixture. Serve immediately.