Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Pasta Carbonara Recipe
nutritional information (per serving)

View full nutritional information
Hide full nutritional information


nutritional information
Servings: 4
amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 11g55%
358 mg119%
2489 mg108%
dietary fiber 2g8th %
total sugar 1g
Vitamin C 0 mg0%
Calcium 180 mg14%
iron 3 mg18%
Potassium 240 mg5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) indicates how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories per day is used for general nutritional advice.

(Nutritional information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Silky and rich, pasta carbonara is a popular dish due to the simplicity of its ingredients and ease of preparation. Real pasta carbonara is a basic combination of pasta, eggs, pork, cheese, a dash of pasta water, salt and pepper.

Real pasta carbonara has neither cream nor garlic in the sauce. Many legends surround the origin of carbonara, but most agree that it originated in Rome in the mid-20th century.

The ingredients for pasta carbonara

The number of eggs used to make carbonara varies from recipe to recipe, but the more eggs you use, the creamier and richer the sauce will be. Our variant uses two large eggs and four yolks.

Guanciale is ideal for the pork, but good quality pancetta or thick bacon are fine too. I use pancetta and freshly grated parmesan in this recipe. There are also other options for cheese: Pecorino Romano, Parmigiano Reggiano, Grana Padano and Asiago. Freshly grated gives your carbonara the best flavor and texture.

While garlic isn't traditional, you can sauté 4 or 5 minced garlic cloves with the pancetta in the last 2 minutes of the cook time.

What is the difference between carbonara and alfredo?

Traditional carbonara is a sauce made with whole eggs and yolks, Parmesan cheese and a dash of pasta water to create a rich and creamy sauce without the cream. Carbonara also contains pork – pancetta or guanciale (thickly cut bacon will do in a pinch).

On the other hand, alfredo is a rich sauce that primarily contains butter, parmesan cheese, and cream.

Does carbonara have raw egg?

The hot noodles will cook the eggs enough to thicken the sauce, but not to a temperature that would qualify as fully cooked. If you are concerned about consuming slightly undercooked eggs, use pasteurized eggs.

Carbonara tips

  • It's important to use freshly grated parmesan for the carbonara, otherwise it won't melt into the sauce properly.
  • The pork used should be fatty enough to yield a few tablespoons of drippings.
  • Avoid over-salting the cooking water. Use part of the water to prepare your sauce.

Why is my carbonara dry?

Your carbonara could become dry if you didn't add enough pasta water or too little egg yolk. Follow this recipe closely and you'll end up with a creamy, delicious sauce that's neither dry nor overcooked.

Also try your carbonara if it's been sitting too long or has been reheated before serving. Carbonara is best eaten right after cooking.

“I am such a big fan of pasta carbonara and this recipe turned out exactly how carbonara should be. It's rich, creamy and perfect for a weeknight. Making carbonara can be tricky, but if you follow this recipe step by step, you can get started. –Tara Omidvar

  • 4 teaspoon diamond kosher Saltfor the pasta water, more if needed

  • 2 large eggs

  • 4 large egg yolk

  • 2 ounces fresh grated parmesan cheeseabout 3/4 cup

  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black peppermore to taste

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 4 ounces diced pancettaGuanciale or thick bacon

  • 1 Pound pastasuch as spaghetti, bucatini or fettuccine

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  2. In a large saucepan, bring 4 liters of water and 4 teaspoons of kosher salt to a boil over high heat.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and yolks; Add the parmesan cheese and black pepper and stir until well combined. Put aside.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  4. Heat the olive oil in a deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook until lightly crispy, about 4 to 6 minutes. Turn off the burner.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  5. Once the water is boiling, add the pasta to the boiling water and cook according to package directions for al dente pasta.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  6. Take out about 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Drain the noodles in a colander.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  7. Add about 1/2 cup of the reserved hot pasta water to the pancetta and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the drained pasta and continue cooking, stirring, for 1 minute.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  8. Gradually stir about 1/4 cup of the reserved hot pasta water into the egg, Parmesan, and cheese mixture.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  9. Take the pan off the stove. Gradually add the egg and cheese mixture to the pasta, stirring and tossing constantly with tongs, until the sauce is silky and adheres to the pasta. Add more hot pasta water if needed to thin the sauce.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

  10. Serve the pasta with additional Parmesan cheese and a generous sprinkling of black pepper.

    The Spruce Eats / Cara Cormack

Leftover carbonara

Carbonara doesn't keep well, so it's best to eat it right away. If you have leftover carbonara, gently heat over low heat with a splash of water to loosen the sauce. It still tastes good but doesn't have the same silky, creamy texture as the first time.

Raw Egg Warning

Eating raw and lightly cooked eggs puts you at risk of foodborne illness.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *