When you have spaghetti in your pantry but everyone is growing weary of topping it with tomato sauce, why not make a pasta carbonara recipe? This fantastic Italian pasta dish is a surefire hit for my family and yours too. My husband and kids love it with the rich taste of pancetta and parmesan in an egg-based sauce that comes out creamy without even a hint of actual cream!
Best Carbonara Recipe
The best carbonara recipe is one that uses only a few simple ingredients. The rest is following the technique, which is much easier than you think, to turn eggs into the rich and divine sauce you may have always ordered at your favorite Italian restaurant. Now you can make it in your own kitchen!
Pasta Carbonara Ingredients
- Spaghetti – Grab your favorite brand of spaghetti and cook it until it’s al dente.
- Eggs – You’ll need 2 of them to make this recipe.
- Parmesan cheese – Get the freshly-grated stuff or get a block of it and grate it yourself.
- Minced garlic – Gives it that wonderful flavor!
- Pancetta – This rich and fatty ingredient is the secret to your best carbonara!
- Parsley – Use fresh parsley and it adds the perfect finish.
- Salt and pepper – Add to suit your tastes!
Easy Carbonara Recipe
With just 8 ingredients and only 25 minutes from start to finish, this easy carbonara recipe may just become a regular in your weekly meal rotation. It’s wonderful for busy nights and elegant enough to serve to guests.
I don’t know, I just started eating pasta and was like “Whoa all my problems…where did they just go?”
How do you Make Carbonara from Scratch
You’ll cook your pasta first until it’s al dente. But don’t throw that water…save some of it! Meanwhile, whisk your parmesan and eggs in a bowl and set aside. Then heat your skillet on medium and cook the pancetta until crispy. Stir in the garlic, then turn it down low. Throw in the pasta and the egg mixture, stirring in the reserved water a little at a time to make the sauce. You can make it thicker or thinner depending on your preference. Season with salt and pepper, then add the parsley and enjoy!
Expert Tips and Tricks for the Perfect Carbonara Every Time
- Take the eggs out before you start. When the eggs are at room temperature, it will help make the sauce smoother and lighter.
- To perfect the carbonara sauce recipe, make sure you whisk the eggs and cheese well. Combining the yolks, whites, and cheese is the secret to that rich and heavenly sauce.
- Go low on that heat. When it’s time to add the egg mixture, the heat needs to be low. Too high and you’ll scramble those eggs!
- Keep stirring! When making this pasta carbonara recipe, you’ll want to add the egg mixture slowly and surely while stirring the pasta up with it to coat it all evenly.
How to Cook Carbonara
This pasta carbonara recipe is made on a stove top. You’ll need to boil the noodles in one pot and cook the pancetta in a skillet that can be used to finish off the dish together.
How do you make spaghetti carbonara?
You boil the spaghetti, cook the pancetta, and then combine those 2 things with a mixture of beaten eggs and parmesan cheese. Adding the pasta water to adjust the consistency gives you that creamy texture.
What pasta is used in carbonara?
A traditional carbonara recipe uses spaghetti. However, if you have linguine or fettucine, you can use it instead.
What is carbonara sauce made of?
Carbonara sauce is made from a mixture of beaten eggs and parmesan with reserved pasta water. The fat from the pancetta mixes in together when you combine it for an amazing flavor.
Should carbonara have cream?
No. The rich sauce in pasta carbonara recipe is made from the eggs, reserved pasta water, and freshly-grated parmesan.
How do you make carbonara with milk?
True carbonara is not made with any milk. It is made with eggs and parmesan.
What can I use instead of cream in Carbonara?
Carbonara sauce does not use cream or milk. The rich sauce is made with eggs, grated parmesan, and reserved pasta water.
Is carbonara the same as Alfredo?
No. Alfredo is the one made with cream while carbonara uses eggs and parmesan for the sauce.
Is white sauce and carbonara the same?
No, white sauce is completely different as it is cream-based. Carbonara uses no milk or cream in it.
How do you make carbonara sauce less thick?
Simply add more of that reserved pasta water and stir. This will help you adjust the texture of your sauce.
How do you thicken carbonara sauce?
Add less pasta water to the sauce and it will thicken.
How many eggs do you put in carbonara?
In this recipe, 2 eggs are used to make spaghetti alla carbonara. It is for an 8-ounce pasta portion though if you are making a smaller portion, you can use 1 egg.
Is the egg in carbonara raw?
The low heat gently cooks the eggs though this might not be enough for anyone that may be susceptible to the dangers of eating raw egg. If you’re pregnant or have certain health conditions, carbonara might not be a good choice for you.
What goes well with Carbonara
One of the best things you can serve with carbonara is fresh Caesar salad and garlic bread. If you’ve got a crowd, add some sauteed veggies like spinach, broccoli, or asparagus to your table.
How to Store Carbonara
Once it’s cooled, you’ll want to store your carbonara in the fridge in an airtight container.
How Long Does Carbonara Last?
You can keep it in your fridge for up to 4 days. Leftovers of carbonara make a fabulous lunch!
Can You Freeze Carbonara?
You can freeze it, but it won’t be as good. Because of the pasta and the nature of the sauce, it may become mushy. I don’t recommend it.
How to Reheat Carbonara?
Put it in a skillet with a little water on the stove top and warm it through. This will liven it back up to the same texture it had when you first made it.
Watch How To Make Carbonara (Video)
Classic Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe
- 8 oz spaghetti
- 2 eggs
- 3/4 cup parmesan cheese (fresh grated)
- 6 oz pancetta
- 1 tbsp garlic (minced)
- kosher salt (to taste)
- fresh black pepper (to taste)
- 3 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped)
- First, cook the pasta until al dente in a large pot of salted boiling water. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and drain.
- Then, whisk together to Parmesan and eggs in a bowl and set aside.
- Next, heat up a large skillet on medium to medium-high heat. Add in the pancetta and cook until crispy. Once crispy, stir in the garlic until fragrant and then reduce the heat to low. On low heat, toss in the pasta and egg/parmesan mixture. Add in the reserved pasta water about a tablespoon at a time until your sauce is reached the consistency of your preference. Season with salt and pepper and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.
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