Classic Pasta Carbonara

Classic Pasta Carbonara is one of our favorite pasta dishes in the world!

As you will see, this dish is so easy to make, and is really wonderful in its simplicity.

Talk about pure deliciousness!

A large pasta bowl layered with fresh pasta carbonara with a spoon

PASTA CARBONARA IS VERY SIMPLE TO PREPARE

This is one of those dishes that has incredible taste and texture, and yet, only takes a matter of minutes to prepare.

It’s perfect for a formal dinner party, or a quick weeknight dinner.

Watch us show you how easy (and FUN) it is to prepare Pasta Carbonara at home!

There are just a handful a ingredients in this dish, but, wow, do they ever make an impact.

Ingredients needed for Pasta Carbonara:

  • Pasta
  • Pancetta
  • Garlic
  • Eggs
  • Shaved Cheese
  • Parsley

Pasta, pancetta, eggs, garlic, cheese and parsley for pasta carbonara.

COOK THE PANCETTA UNTIL COOKED, THEN ADD GARLIC

Pasta Carbonara is an Italian dish that originated in the Rome Region.

Although guanciale is the protein commonly used in Italian kitchens, cured pancetta is also very popular, and is much more readily available in most well-stocked supermarkets.

Cook the pancetta until fat starts to render and just beginning to crisp. Then, add the garlic and cook for a few more minutes, until both items are nicely cooked and lightly browned.

Cook the pancetta and garlic until lightly browned in a large skillet.

We absolutely love using bucatini pasta, which is similar to spaghetti, but is a little thicker and is hollow in the center.

Types of pasta that are best for Pasta Carbonara:

  • Spaghetti
  • Bucatini
  • Linguin
  • Fettuccini

Bucatini or spaghetti being served for pasta carbonara.

THE EGGS WILL COOK SLIGHTLY WITH THE HOT PASTA

Don’t worry about using raw eggs…as the hot pancetta, and then hot pasta hits them, they cook to pure perfection.

The egg, cheese, and pasta water blend together perfectly to make the most decadently, smooth, creamy pasta dish.

Pasta Carbonara is Pasta Perfection. With a little extra cheese sprinkled on top!

Pecornio-Romano sprinkled on top of the pasta is a good finishing touch.

We just can’t rave about Pasta Carbonara enough.

With one bite, you’re transported to Italian culinary bliss.

And it all comes together in about 20 minutes, tops! What can be better than that?

Looking for other amazing pasta dishes? These are pretty awesome:

Pasta alla Vodka
Best-Ever Baked Ziti
Spaghetti Pesto
Pasta alla Norma
Italian Baked Stuffed Shells
Italian Country Pasta with Sausage and Broccoli

But in the meantime, hurry and make this incredibly delicious and easy Pasta Carbonara!

Twirl the pasta carbonara onto a plate with a fork.

Twist the pasta carbonara with a fork on a serving plate.

Pasta Carbonara

This Classic Pasta Carbonara is amazing in it's simplicity and incredible flavors. We love to use a pasta called bucatini - which is a fat, tubular spaghetti - but really, any good pasta will work. So easy for a busy week night. Enjoy!
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Italian
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Carbonara, Pasta, Weeknight Dinner
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 12 minutes
Total Time: 22 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 285kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 lb dry bucatini or spaghetti
  • 8 ounces pancetta diced, or quality slab bacon
  • 5 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 eggs
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese or Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped

Instructions

  • Bring a pot of salted water to a boil to cook the pasta.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
  • Add the pancetta to the skillet. Cook until the fat has rendered, about 4 minutes.
  • Drain excess fat...there should be about 2 tablespoons left in the skillet.
  • Add the garlic and cook until golden, about 5 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook to package directions (usually, about 9 - 12 minutes for al dente).
  • Add the eggs and cheese to a large pasta bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Add the cooked pancetta/garlic mixture to the egg/cheese mixture and stir to combine.
  • Once ready, drain the pasta, but be sure to reserve about 1 cup of the pasta liquid.
  • Immediately add the pasta to the egg/cheese/pancetta mixture and fully incorporate.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Mix in half of the parsley.
  • Add about a 1/2 - 3/4 cup of the pasta water to thin the sauce a little.
  • Plate the pasta and garnish with additional cheese and parsley.

Video

Notes

Be careful when adding the salt.  The pancetta is somewhat salty to begin with.  A good helping of freshly ground pepper deepens the flavor.   You can also used grated Parmesan or Pecorino-Romano Cheese.  

Nutrition

Calories: 285kcal
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12 Comments

  • Thank you for answering my question regarding making this dish ahead of time. It worked perfectly. I always change recipes, but not yours, why mess with perfection! My only problem with the Carbonara is they ate it all, so there today’s lunch gone!

  • Tried this recipe last evening. Absolutely spectacular and so very delicious. Quick and easy to make (followed the recipe to a “t”) and the entire family loved it. This will be on the “go to” list for years to come. (Oh, and I lived in Bell’ Italia for three years and ate plenty of carbonara … this is easily at the top of the list!). Thanks Kris for yet another winning recipe!

    • Hi Mark!! Wow! That is so awesome to hear. So very glad you loved it and coming from a native Italian makes us feel very proud and honored. And thank you so much for letup us know!! That means so much to us!!! All the best, Kris & Wesley

  • Food, like language, exists as a vehicle for expressing culture. It has the power of being both a biological necessity as well as a deeply symbolic cultural artifact, one that connects us to one another on several levels. Thus, we find it agreeable to say that food is a mechanism for expressing identity that also has a social purpose. Food is one of the main parts of cultural identity and here you can find free essays on this topic, That’s how foods eaten everyday are classified as such vary across cultures, and typically offer some insight to cultural norms, tradition, easily accessible ingredients, and the influence of seasonality.

  • Is it possible to make in advance? When we have guests we have cocktails first, and then I like to serve with a minimum amount of work.

    • Hi Judy!! So very sorry for the delayed response!!!! What we would recommend is cook the pancetta and garlic first. Have it mixed with the egg and cheese in your serving bowl. Then cook the pasta once the guest arrive and then quickly toss with the pancetta/egg/cheese mixture plus remember to save a cup of the pasta water to thin the sauce a bit. I wouldn’t recommend preparing it completely ahead of time. It will lose it’s silky texture. But you certainly can all the way up to mixing it with the hot pasta. And we TOTALLY understand what you’re saying. Gotta have some pre-dinner cocktails to get the party going!! Let us know how it turns out! Best, Kris & Wesley

  • This once again was absolutely scrumptious. I made this last night for dinner. I did not change anything. It was easy to make, but you wouldn’t think it was easy after tasting it. It would be a lovely dish to serve friends. It was creamy and very flavorful. I have made pasta carbonara a million times. This was the best recipe I had ever made. My husband ate every bite. It was ccreamy without being thick and filling. Will be my go to carbonara from now on!

    • That is absolutely so wonderful to hear! I worked on that carbonara recipe for quite a while until we felt is was just perfect. Can’t tell you enough how much it means to us that you and your hubby loved it!! Thank so much for letting us know! You’re the best! xoxo Kris & Wesley

  • First new recipe of 2017 to try and it was simply delish ! It took all of about 20 minutes and was fantastic. 🙂 Too bad I can’t post a pic

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