This Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe is so rich and decadent yet so incredibly easy to make!
Pasta is tossed in a delicious and easy parmesan sauce with savory pancetta. The heat from the pasta cooks the sauce making for a quick and creamy dish in no time at all!
Sounds fancy, right? Spaghetti a la Carbonara is one of the easiest recipes you can make and it’ll make you look like a master in the kitchen.
This dish adds an uncooked egg mixture to hot pasta and the heat from the pasta cooks the egg mixture making for a rich creamy sauce.
- Pancetta adds a delicious salty flavor to this recipe (although it can be substituted with bacon)!
- In Italy, pasta carbonara is usually made with guanciale (pork jowl) but it’s hard to find here so we use pancetta (from the pork belly).
- Parmesan Cheese is common in North America (as it’s easy to find) although spaghetti carbonara is traditionally made with Pecorino Romano.
- A long pasta works well in this recipe but a classic spaghetti carbonara is traditional.
How to Make Spaghetti Carbonara
A pasta carbonara has a creamy sauce with an egg base. The heat from the noodles cooks the eggs so it’s best of the eggs are room temperature and you have it prepared so it can be added to the hot pasta quickly!
- Whisk Sauce Whisk eggs, parmesan cheese and black pepper bowl and set aside.
- Boil Pasta Cook the pasta until it is ‘al dente’ (not soft, but ‘to the bite which is what al dente means.’).Do not rinse the pasta, the starch helps the consistency of the sauce.
- Toss Together Quickly add the egg mixture to the hot cooked pasta and toss to combine. The heat from the pasta will thicken the egg. Add a bit of pasta water if needed to get the right consistency.
Top with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese and a little chopped parsley for garnish!
Work Quickly for a Smooth Sauce
Remember that your pasta has to be hot to cook/thicken the egg mixture. If it’s too hot your sauce will not have a smooth consistency (so remove the pan from the heat just before tossing the egg mixture with the hot pasta).
Save one cup of the pasta water because it is starchy and you can use it to adjust the consistency of your sauce if needed.
Add a few tablespoons or so of the reserved pasta water to reach the desired consistency. Cream isn’t traditionally added to carbonara but you can add a small splash of cream if you’d like.
More Italian Favorites
- Easy Chicken Parmesan – so flavorful
- Easy Chicken Marsala Recipe – so delicious and easy
- Easy Baked Ziti – Weeknight favorite
- Homemade Spaghetti Sauce – kid approved and freezes well
- Chicken Piccata – another Italian favorite
Serve it with a fresh Italian Salad and Homemade Garlic Bread for the perfect Italian inspired meal!
Wine Pairing: Spaghetti Carbonara is a rich pasta dish so the best wine pairings will always be crisp whites like Pinot Grigios or Gris. Let the full-bodied flavors of the eggs, cheese, and garlic take center stage and pair with a light, pear or citrus flavored wine.
Did you enjoy this Spaghetti Carbonara? Be sure to leave a rating or a comment below!
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 6 slices pancetta or bacon, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup parmesan cheese shredded
- freshly ground black pepper
- Whisk eggs, parmesan cheese and black pepper in a bowl. Set aside.
- Cook pancetta over medium heat until crisp. Remove from pan and add garlic. Cook 1 minute.
- Cook pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain reserving 1 cup of pasta water.
- Place hot pasta in pan with garlic and toss to coat. Quickly remove from heat and add egg mixture.
- Using tongs, mix well adding pasta water if needed. Stir in pancetta/bacon and add parsley/parmesan for garnish.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
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Tasted great. I messed up and it was sticky, but I will make again minus my mistakes.
This was a flavorful, creamy dish to throw together on any weeknight. I was impressed with how easy it was to make! This will certainly be in my menu rotation. Thanks for the recipe!
This was delicious and my friend of Italian descent loved it too! I added extra garlic and my partner and I both thought that made it excellent. Thanks for this recipe!
Please forgive me, but what is the guesstament of ONE SESRVING? YUP I am watching intake, but this is so good looking I just need to know. Of course I will be cutting it in half or so since it is just me. YUM YUM YUM
Hi Randi, a serving would be about 1 cup. For better nutritional information we recommend entering values into a nutrition tracker like MyFitnessPal or similar.
Phenomenal! I will be making this monthly for the foreseeable future.
Made the Spaghetti Carbonara for the first time last night with bacon. Very simple with ingredients that we always have in stock and was delicious. It will regularly appear on the meal planner. Thanks!
Made this yesterday & I will definitely be making it again, my 2 boys really enjoyed it. It was delicious
I made basically this recipe tonight. Instead of pork I used small shrimp and a little more garlic. My husband love it. It was creamy and so good. He said this is a keeper.
Being married for 20 years I don’t often try many new recipes as he is pretty much a meat and potato type of guy.
I’ll be making this a regular meal. Next time I’ll try it with the pancetta
So happy you are both enjoying this recipe, Cindy!
Making this tonight… Can’t wait, can’t wait
Simple and tasty. I’ve made this at least a half dozen times now. My husband loves pasta and loves this dish. I kick it up and throw in Italian seasonings, parsley, red pepper, whatever I have on hand. We love it with peas thrown in at the end. I’ve used Aldi pancetta and Italian deli pancetta. Go for deli quality. It makes a world of difference.
I like the reviews I think I’m going to make this soon
Thank you Holly spend with pennies is my new ‘go to ‘the spaghetti carbonara was out of this world!!!
You are very welcome, LaWeez! Glad you enjoyed it.
I would suggest tempering the eggs with the pasta water.
Great suggestion Lynn, thank you!
Basic, quick, and very tasty recipe. I have made this several times and am always pleased. I use the recipe as a guide and add spices and herbs. I also love to add some peas at the end for texture (and I love peas).
This was very good! My daughter wanted to make a carbonara dish for dinner, so we tried this last night. We all enjoyed it very much.
The technique here is the real star! The best explanation for carbonara I’ve found outside of Italy, all the little homestead tips and tricks that usually only grandmas know and teach!
The possibilities of flavor combinations are endless. I didn’t have bacon and only a single egg, but I upped the pecorino and black pepper as well as some red pepper flakes to achieve more of a cacio e pepe dish with a kick and it was DELICIOUS. Silky, creamy, smooth. Everything.
Thanks for the awesome pasta! I’ll share this with anybody who wants a simple weeknight dinner with a little indulgence.
Thank you so much, Jenn! We are so glad you loved this recipe.
I didn’t have bacon and instead used linguica for a Portuguese take, and it was delicious. Thanks.
Sounds great Amy, you are welcome!
I am excited to try this recipe. I plan on using Pecorino Romano instead of Parmesan because that’s what I have in the fridge. Should I use a full cup or should I cut the amount down a bit?
I’d use the same amount Ellen. Enjoy!
I am a novice in the kitchen and this recipe is Perfection! The combination of the simplest ingredients creates a super quick, easy and delicious dish. Thank you!
You’re welcome Tracy! So glad to hear that!
This is very easy to make. I followed the recipe to the T. It taste rather bland. I recommend adding salt, and fresh parsley. I also added some crushed red pepper