For such a simple dish, it is surprisingly satisfying. It's hard to beat a bowl of cheesy, bacony, peppery, eggy goodness. After I adopted this recipe, I never went back to making carbonara any other way.
Step 1: Mise en place: ingredients and equipment
Start by gathering your ingredients:
one serving of pasta
one or two slices of bacon, depending on how much bacon you want
pecorino or Parmesan cheese
You'll also need a fine grater, a pot for cooking the spaghetti, tongs for handling the food, and a skillet for cooking the bacon. You'll also need couple of ramekins for separating the egg ahead of time.
I personally like the flavor of pecorino cheese better than Parmasean (actually, I like using half grated pecorino, and half grated parma, but then this would be a five ingredient recipe), and I always grate my cheese as I need it; that crumbly pre-ground crap that passes for cheese in most supermarkets is gross. Ground cheese has the wrong texture; insist on grating your own if you're going to do this right. Life is too short to be eating gross pre-ground industrially processed cheese.