We Cooked Jennifer Aniston’s ‘Not That Bad For You’ Pasta Carbonara Recipe (and Loved It)

04/22/2016 at 05:38 PM ET

Jennifer Aniston
Ruven Afanador

There is one thing we know to be true in this crazy world: Jennifer Aniston and her husband Justin Theroux really love pasta carbonara.

“Justin and I make [it] every couple of weeks,” the actress (and 2016 World’s Most Beautiful Womantold PEOPLE of her occasional diet splurge in this week’s cover story.

RELATED: Jennifer Aniston Dishes on Her Protein-Packed Breakfast Routine (and the One Food She’s Powerless Against)

Indeed, this is not the first time that Aniston has made mention of the dish. Earlier this month, she told Elle that she credits her husband for reintroducing pasta into her life, making mention of the “not that bad for you” version they make that consists of one egg, a little cheese, turkey bacon and some pasta water. She’s also mentioned that she uses gluten-free pasta and adds red onion, garlic and some low-fat milk—but absolutely no cream, butter or oil.

Armed with the knowledge, tools and hunger to pull it off, we took to our test kitchen to recreate the couple’s signature dish. As any carbonara lover knows, the simple dish is traditionally pretty rich. The creamy, golden sauce is based in egg yolks aplenty, and pancetta or bacon provides the porky goodness that’s hard to replicate. So could this lightened-up version pass our test?

RELATED: How To Get Jennifer Aniston’s Amazingly Toned Arms

The verdict: SO MUCH YES. In fact, some of us even preferred it—especially considering we had to go back to work and not curl up and take a nap afterwards. Using the starchy cooking water from the pasta is a great tip because creates a creamy sauce that mimics the texture of the eggs. And the turkey bacon, while perhaps a disappointing in its whole state, lends all the smoky, meaty goodness you want when you chop it up.

Scroll down for our version of the recipe below, then feel empowered to go make it yourself at home.

Jennifer Aniston Carbonara
Ben Trivett/People.com

Spaghetti Carbonara a la Jen and Justin

1 lb. gluten-free or regular spaghetti
4 slices turkey bacon, diced
1 small red onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 egg
⅓ cup low-fat milk
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.

2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add turkey bacon and red onion and cook until bacon is crisp and onions are slightly caramelized, about 8-10 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Remove from heat.

3. Salt the boiling water generously, add pasta and cook until al dente, according to package directions. Reserve ¾ cup of the pasta water and drain the rest. Toss the hot pasta in the skillet with the turkey bacon.

4. In a bowl, whisk together egg, milk, and cheese. Add in about ½ cup of the hot pasta water, whisking constantly to prevent the egg from scrambling.

5. Pour egg mixture in the skillet with pasta and toss to coat. If it feels a little dry, add the remaining pasta water. Turn the heat on medium low and cook until sauce has thickened, about 1 minute. Season with lots of black pepper and more salt, to taste. Remove from heat and served with extra parmesan, if desired.

For more of Aniston’s revealing interview, including beauty tips and secrets she’s learned over the years, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE on newsstands Friday.

Shay Spence, @chezspence

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms


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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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noorilhuda on

Aniston has some really good connections with People – this is the 2nd time she is on cover right before release of a movie she ‘stars’ in. My only problem is that she is considered beautiful – she is not. Apologies to dogs, but she looks like an ugly dog, even after all the hair and makeup and ‘gushes about Theroux’ routine.

noorhuda on

when was a black woman or even the Indian actress Priyanka Chopra on the cover as the most beautiful? Instead a 50-year old hasbeen is put on the cover just because she has connections and is white.


What is wrong with People?!!! Enough of the has been!! She is a chain smoker, a B lister, middle aged, has a filthy mouth and has more men than 40 average american women. She is NOT beautiful whether we’re talking inside or out.
I’m sick of you trying to SHOVE this no talent down the reader’s throats!! How much are her PR people paying you????!!!!!

tinamarie2001 on

Stay classy noorilhuda/ noorhuda…lol…Jen looks great!!!!!!!! Stop the hate. Not her fault your parents are related.

Jo on

Beautiful!!!! Lover her!!!

Stacie on

She is a beautiful inside and out.

ImALadyToo on

TinaMarie2001 – Hilarious!

Chris on

Yes Jen… you’re doing God’s work.

Dr. leroy Poop on

It goes right to your chin

Mayette de Guzman on

Good job People! Jen’s d perfect choice as The World’s Most Beautiful. Luv her!

guest on

@Noorihuda you are very stupid woman. you are the one ugly inside. go back to loonland with your hate. dogs are even cute you look like a dirty vulture

Dr. leroy Poop on

She was not even the best looking woman on Friends..

Loris Tyminski on

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Brock Schweer on

Elisha Bateson on

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