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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what do I do with the bacon!!!
Hi Rita, the pancetta or bacon is cooked in step 2 and added to pasta in step 5. I hope this helps!
1st time making this dish so easy as we don’t eat bacon, I substituted it with turkey style bacon. Simple easy dinner severed with a ceaser salad. So delicious my daughter took some for lunch. It will be made again for sure. Thank you
I made this for dinner last night and we all thought it was great. I will most definitely be making it again.
I don’t have bacon or pancetta right now. Can I make this recipe with chicken? I know it’s not the same great flavor but I have bacon grease in the fridge that I could add. —Linda
I have only tried the recipe as written so I can’t say for sure. It will definitely change the flavor but I am sure will still be delicious. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!
Delicious and soooo easy
It was so easy to make. Since Dontceat meat or dairy, I used vegan bacon and Parmesan. I will definitely make it again.
My one problem was that I wasn’t organized properly. Every thing moves fast, so organization is key.
Minimal prep and delucious. Thanknyou.