Pasta recipes where you add raw beaten eggs at last minute. Safe?

I enjoy cooking the pasta recipes found on the boxes the pasta comes in. Last night I made conchille with bacon and peas, and about a month ago I made spaghetti carbonara. Both of these recipes call for two beaten eggs which are added at the last second. In face, for the bacon and peas recipe, you are supposed to drain the pasta, and then toss it with the other ingredients, including the raw eggs in a bowl.

The results of both recipes tasted great, but I’m concerned about the raw eggs. Normally it takes about a minute to cook scrambled eggs, yet for the pasta recipes you have raw eggs tossed into the dish for only a few seconds. Do the eggs actually get cooked thoroughly that way, or are they still raw? Is this just a raw-food risk that you accept, like when you eat suchi?

How is this a Cafe thread?

Ummm…it’s about food, and all matters culinary go here.

Anyhow. I wouldn’t feed it to anyone with a compromised immune system, but the chances of you getting sick from raw eggs is very, very small. Best bet would be to use pasteurized eggs–then you’re safe. Otherwise, yeah, there is a small risk of Salmonella contamination, but, frankly, I’ve eaten hundreds of raw eggs in my life without any problem.

They get cooked by the residual heat of the food. The eggs are spread thinly through the pasta, rather than being in a lump in a pan. If you could get the eggs in a pan to be only a few millimeters in thickness, you’d find they cooked awfully quickly.

You’re probably safe. Getting sick from ingesting raw egg is a relatively low risk. Salmonella is present in a very small number of eggs (maybe as little as 1 in 30,000). Plus, making sure the egg is fresh will help protect you too. Raw eggs, depending on whom you ask, are actually pretty good for you. Lots and lots of protein and other nutrients.

In actuality, the eggs do not generally get cooked thoroughly by the residual heat in such a recipe as you cite.

So yes, there is a definite increased risk of Salmonella by preparing it that way.

But hey, all of life is 5 to 4 against, so go ahead and choose your risks. I like medium-rare hamburgers and runny yolks in eggs myself.

You can purchase pasteurized eggs that are still in the shell, eliminating the risk of salmonella.

And soap and warm water on the shell before cracking can only help.

The risk of salmonella in the United States is approximately 1 in 100,000. Besides, all the carbonara recipes I’ve read involve stirring in the eggs and then using gentle heat to cook them until they just set up.

Hmm…that’s not the method I’m familiar with. Cooking/setting the eggs would just make the texture all wrong.

Here’s a standard recipe. Note the warning near the bottom about Salmonella.

Or use an egg substitute such as Egg Beaters.

Yeah, same here. The raw eggs form the sauce - if you cook until they’re set, it’d be dry & icky. The trick to carbonara is getting over the fact that you’re eating mostly raw eggs. Heck, didn’t any of you ever eat cookie dough? Or homemade mayonaisse? Or fried eggs with runny yolks? The threat of salmonella is really very low, unless you’re a young kid, very old, or of not very good health.

I’ve eaten pasta carbonara made the way you describe an average of once a month for the last six years or so, and have never gotten salmonella. If you’re uncomfortable about it, you can turn up the heat and toss the mixture for a few seconds after you put the egg in - you get a somewhat less creamy, but safer, sauce.

I’ve also made carbonara by cooking the eggs slowly in a double boiler, stirring all the while. Wish I could remember where I found that recipe, cuz the eggs were not ‘set’, but were definitely cooked, much like hollandaise. In fact, you could do this if you mix the eggs with a little cream and the grated cheese. Whisk on low heat to cook, then add to the pasta.

There is salmonella risk in hollandaise. The yolks don’t get cooked at high enough a heat for long enough to kill the bacteria.

Sorry. I suppose I should have some sites.

Here’s one article on a salmonella outbreak caused by hollandaise.

Here’s an article from explaining Hollandaise.

Besides, salmonella probably won’t bother you that much anyway. As someone mentioned earlier, unless you’re very young, very old or already ill, the worst you’ll get is a case of the runs and a prescription for some antibiotics. It’s more of a nuisance than a problem.

If you’re not willing risk a case of salmonella for some carbonara then your priorities are really screwed up.

Spoken like someone who never had salmonella!

Granted, it’s generally not deadly save for the young, old, or immunocompromised, but let me assure you it’s usually far far more than a little discomfiture of the bowels.

Antibiotics don’t cure it, they just eliminate the organism so you don’t pass it on to someone else while you’re spasmodically emptying the liquified contents of your small and large intestine as fast as you dump fluids in the top end, while you wonder how it’s physically possible to excrete more than you take in.

Add the myalgias, occasional dry heaves, chills, sweats, and blinding headache. Plus you may need to be caretaker for your two small children who’ve also acquired it. Have a Hazmat team on standby!

The risk of getting Salmonella from undercooked eggs is quite low. But it’s not a trivial illness.

I sure I read somewhere you should never wash eggs because the shells are so porous that you will end up washing the bacteria INTO the egg.