Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara, aka pasta carbonara, is one of my favorite Italian pasta dishes for busy weekdays. So incredibly simple, so incredibly easy to make and so incredibly delicious. I love it.

Homemade spaghetti carbonara recipe

Next time someone wants to make carbonara for you and starts talking about adding cream or worse: carbonara “sauce” from a jar, run as fast as you can! I’m certainly not against packaged or bagged, but real spaghetti carbonara has to be made fresh.

All you need is raw eggs, pasta, crispy bacon or traditionally guanciale and a hard cheese like Parmesan cheese. Just add some fresh parsley, pepper and salt to season it and that’s it. Well. there is one more key ingredient: pasta cooking water.

Pasta carbonara

Creamy pasta without cream

You see, the secret to a really creamy carbonara is the combination of egg yolks, a cup of pasta water and Parmesan cheese or Parmigiano Reggiano. First, you mix the eggs and cheese in a small bowl and add the cheese mixture to your cooked pasta in a large skillet. You slowly cook the cheese and egg mixture using the hot pasta water creating a smooth and silky sauce. It couldn’t be simpler, and trust me it’s sooo creamy. No amount of heavy cream can beat it.

It’s quite similar to a traditional cacio e pepe, using residual heat and starchy cooking liquid to create a creamy sauce. Although cacio e pepe doesn’t contain tempered eggs and uses Pecorino Romano cheese, the method is similar.

Ingredients spaghetti carbonara guanciale eggs Parmesan

Authentic spaghetti alla carbonara recipe

For a real classic carbonara you should use guanciale, an Italian cured meat product made from pork cheek or pork jowl. This can be a bit difficult to find so a good alternative from the grocery store is pancetta (pork belly) or even bacon. But if you want to go classic, find yourself a good Italian shop that specializes in classic ingredients.

Furthermore, get some good quality spaghetti, fresh or dried, and make sure to cook it al dente in salty water. Don’t forget to save yourself a cup of the pasta water for the sauce!

Serving spaghetti carbonara

This easy yet delicious spaghetti carbonara is served in less than 20 minutes and it is budget-proof too! You really don’t need many ingredients. I often add a clove of garlic to the frying pan to ever so slightly fry in the bacon fat when the bacon is almost done. Not classic, but very flavorful. I would recommend serving it with a nice side salad to get your greens and some extra grated Parmesan, because who doesn’t love some extra cheese?

Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti carbonara, one of my favorite Italian dishes to make. So incredibly simple, so incredibly easy to make and so incredibly delicious.
Nog geen stemmen
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Quantity: 2 portions


  • 150 grams of spaghetti
  • 4 egg yolks (medium)
  • 1 egg (medium)
  • 75 grams of Parmesan cheese (grated)
  • 150 grams of bacon (e.g. guanciale or pancetta – diced)
  • 1 clove of garlic (finely chopped – optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley (fresh – finely chopped)
  • black pepper and salt to taste (freshly ground)

INSTRUCTIONS (how to make this recipe):

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta al dente. While the pasta is cooking, put the egg yolks and the egg in a bowl and mix with half of the grated Parmesan cheese.
  • At the same time, put a large skiller on medium heat (you will add the pasta later, so the pan should be spacious) and fry the bacon until browned and slightly crisp.
  • Optional: Add the clove of garlic and fry briefly. Turn down the heat.
  • Now you have to be “fast”. Remove the spaghetti from the pan with tongs and spoon into the frying pan. Reserve a cup of cooking liquid from the spaghetti.
  • Gradually add the egg mixture to the pasta and stir quickly (preferably with tongs), adding a little cooking liquid each time (don’t be too sparing) until you have a delicious creamy sauce.
  • Season to taste with black pepper, possibly a pinch of salt and the finely chopped parsley. Top with the remaining Parmesan cheese. Enjoy your meal!

Nutrition information per portion

Calorieën: 732kcal | Koolhydraten: 28g | Eiwitten: 36g | Vetten: 52g | Verzadigd vet: 20g

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Spaghetti carbonara

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