Spaghetti Carbonara is an Italian classic that’s a snap to prepare and will get rave reviews from your family!

This Bacon and Egg Pasta or Pasta alla Carbonara is easy comfort food!

Overhead view of a bowl of spaghetti carbonara with a basil sprig garnish.

Why You’ll Love:

  • This classic Italian pasta is made with minimal ingredients.
  • It’s quick and delicious!!
  • You’ll be shocked at how creamy it is without a drop of cream!

How to Make Spaghetti Carbonara

With the cooler autumn weather, our dinners have become heartier.  Creamy pasta and a hot loaf of bread are perfect for a weeknight meal.  Pancetta and onions were sautéed, then a bit of white wine added for flavor.

  1. Cook pancetta over medium heat, then add and cook the onion.
  2. Deglaze the pan with wine. 
  3. Cook spaghetti in well-salted water till done.
  4. While pasta is cooking, whisk together eggs, cheeses, pepper, and salt.
  5. Drain pasta and add to pancetta and onion mixture. Toss well over medium heat, till well mixed. Remove from heat and add egg mixture, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.
A white ceramic bowlful of spaghetti carbonara.

Tips for Making Carbonara Pasta

When I try new dinner recipes, especially those that aren’t slabs of beef, I hold my breath when the hubby takes his first bite. He grew up in a home where pizza was about as exotic as entrees would get. I shouldn’t have worried. He was a fan instantly. Creamy, salty, and hearty, this spaghetti carbonara is pure comfort food.

  • The classic recipe uses Guanciale, but if it’s difficult to locate, use Pancetta as I did. Guanciale is made from pork cheek and Pancetta is made from pork belly.
  • For a true carbonara, do not add cream.
  • The creaminess comes from slowly cooking the beaten eggs and cheese at a temperature low enough to cook, but not scramble the eggs. Sometimes some pasta water is added as well since it provides starch to assist with thickening.
  • With this recipe, the egg and cheese mixture is stirred into warm pasta which gently cooks the eggs.
  • PRO-Tip: Cook the pasta in well-salted water. It should taste like seawater so that the salt infuses into the noodles. Salt added after the pasta is cooked will not taste as good.
  • Make a smoked salmon carbonara recipe.  Eliminate the pancetta and add strips of smoked salmon just before adding the pasta. It’s already cooked so does not need to be sautéed. This version is nice for Lent.

Serving Suggestions

Classic Spaghetti Carbonara in a white bowl with a sprig of parsely

Frequently Asked Questions

What is  Carbonara?

Carbonara is a pasta dish that hails from Rome and is made with 5 simple ingredients. The emulsified sauce is creamy without the addition of cream.

What Ingredients are in a Traditional Carbonara?

The ingredients in a classic carbonara include Spaghetti, Browned Guanciale, Freshly Ground Black Pepper, Pecorino Romano, and Beaten Eggs.

What is a Good Substitute for Guanciale?

Pancetta is another Italian cured meat made with pork and is a good substitute for Guanciale.

Is This Carbonara Recipe Authentic?

This recipe has a few nontraditional ingredients including onions, wine, and Parmesan in addition to the Romano cheese. Also, Pancetta was substituted for Guanciale. So carbonara connoisseurs would not consider this recipe to be authentic, but it’s definitely delicious!

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Overhead view of spaghetti carbonara in a white bowl
Photo circa 2013.

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Spaghetti Carbonara

Spaghetti Carbonara

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 18 minutes
Total Time 33 minutes
Yield 4 servings

Spaghetti Carbonara is an Italian classic that's a snap to prepare and will get rave reviews from your family!

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup Parmesan
  • 1/3 cup Romano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Cook pancetta in a saucepan over medium heat for about 2 minutes.
  2. Add onion and continue cooking till the onion is golden, about 10 minutes. Add wine and cook till reduced by half.
  3. Cook spaghetti in well-salted water till done.
  4. While pasta is cooking, whisk together eggs, cheeses, pepper, and salt.
  5. Drain pasta and add to pancetta and onion mixture. Toss well over medium heat, till well mixed.
  6. Remove from heat and add egg mixture, tossing to combine. Serve immediately.

Notes

Recipe adapted from Gourmet.

Bacon can be used in place of the pancetta.

The onion and wine are non-traditional but add a delicious depth of flavor.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 572Total Fat: 34gSaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 18gCholesterol: 193mgSodium: 639mgCarbohydrates: 40gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 22g

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