This recipe is originally from Jeff Smith's first cook book, The Frugal Gourmet [amazon.com]. It's loaded with fat and cholesterol -- but it sure tastes great!
I've seen recipes for pasta carbonara made with a variety of other ingredients: leaks, onion, garlic, (added during the cooking of the bacon) or pimentos, and black olives, (added at the end, after the eggs and Parmesan). I tried one recipe which used saffron, but it seemed that the other flavors overpowered the saffron, and saffron is quite expensive.
If you can find (and afford) it, use pancetta instead of bacon. Pancetta is cured, not smoked like bacon, and has some other flavors, nutmeg, fennel, hot red pepper, and garlic, used in the curing process. It will give your carbonara a different flavor. I will say though that it still tastes really good using bacon.
In most recipes, you cook the bacon until it is transparent, not crisp -- it just seems too rubbery and undercooked to me if you don't cook it until it is crisp. Anyway I like the recipe as it is here.
Recipe by: The Frugal Gourmet with a few modifications by me.
Preparation Time: 0:30
Cook the bacon in skillet until it is just crisp, then add the milk and butter. As soon as the butter is completely melted, add the vinegar. This will turn the milk into a cheese. Simmer this sauce for about 15 minutes, until it cooks smooth.
Cook your favorite pasta al dente. Drain, and add to the skillet mixture, coating the pasta with the sauce. Add the beaten eggs and the Parmesan cheese, and toss.
Add salt and pepper. Serve with a salad, garlic bread, and a good Italian red wine.
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My opinions are not regulated by any recognized authority - I am neither competent nor authorized to dispense advice of any kind. It is probably best to ignore me.