Easy and Delicious Carbonara Recipe

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Our family goes crazy for this flavorful easy carbonara recipe! This pasta is made with pancetta, eggs, cream, parmesan, and thick spaghetti or bucatini noodles. The perfect Italian comfort food!

Easy Carbonara pasta recipe with egg, cream and pancetta. Served in a  white bowl.

I married into an Italian family so pasta has always been on the menu! Bacon carbonara has been a favorite pasta dish of mine since my mother-in-law made it for us about 15 years ago.

Bowl of spaghetti carbonara with bacon and parmesan cheese. Served in a white bowl with a copper fork.

It’s a creamy pasta and the thick cut pancetta gives the pasta a salty crunch. All of the flavors blend together perfectly with pepper and parmesan cheese. It’s the perfect pasta to make on a fall or winter day. Serve it with our salad that goes with everything for a complete meal!

What is carbonara?

Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish made with cream, eggs, pancetta and spaghetti noodles. The name carbonara means “charcoal burner” in Italian. There is speculation that it was a hearty meal for charcoal workers.

Carbonara recipe in a bowl

How to Make Pasta Carbonara

Ingredients

  • Pancetta – Salt-cured and dried pork. You can substitute with bacon if needed.
  • Eggs – Buy organic eggs if possible.
  • Cream – Heavy cream is what we use for this recipe.
  • Parmesan Cheese – Already grated is great.
  • Pasta – Use spaghetti noodles.
  • Olive Oil – Good quality olive oil.
  • Salt & Pepper

Directions

Pancetta cut into 1/2" cubes for an easy carbonara recipe.
  • Cut pancetta into thick cubes. To make it easier, have the butcher cut it for you.

What is the difference between pancetta and bacon?

Pancetta is the Italian way of making bacon. Its cured pork belly seasoned with a lot of pepper and salt and then tightly wrapped into a tight roll and tied with casing.

You can substitute pancetta for bacon in this recipe. Make sure it’s thick cut bacon so you get large chunks of the bacon in the pasta.

Crispy pancetta cooing in a skillet to put into spaghetti carbonara.
  • Brown the pancetta in a skillet with olive oil and pepper until brown, almost crispy, on all sides. Remove from heat and let it sit while you make the rest. The bacon fat will be so good mixed in with the pasta!
Egg and Cream Mixture to make carbonara sauce.
  • In a bowl combine eggs and cream and whisk until combined.
Dried Spagetti Pasta
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente.
  • Quickly drain the pasta and put it back in the large hot pot. Reserve a small amount of pasta water to use in the mixture.
Carbonara sauce being poured into hot pasta.
  • Pour the egg and cream mixture into the hot pasta and stir.
Parmesan cheese pouring into hot noodles.
  • Add in the parmesan cheese.
Pancetta added to easy carbonara recipe in a hot pan.
  • Add in the pancetta and any bacon grease from the pan and stir it all together.
Pancetta Carbonara Recipe in Large All Clad Pot.
  • Top with a pinch of salt, lot’s of freshly ground pepper and shaved parmesan.
Large bowl of spaghetti carbonara.

Bucatini Carbonara

To make bucatini carbonara, use the same carbonara sauce recipe and switch out the noodles to bucatini noodles.

Bucatini noodles are similar are thicker than spaghetti noodles, with a hole running through the middle. I personally LOVE bucatini and it’s personally my favorite noodle to serve with this sauce.

Pasta Carbonara in a white serving bowl with copper spoons.

Spaghetti Carbonara

This is the same carbonara recipe but using spaghetti noodles to serve. We used a thick cut spaghetti noodle to make this recipe. It’s easier to find at the grocery store. When you buy it, make sure it’s thick cut.

Copper fork with easy carbonara on it.

Linguine Carbonara

Carbonara with linguine noodles. Linguine noodles are similar to spaghetti but flat noodles.

Penne Carbonara

This is made with penne noodles, which are short tube noodles. The best part about serving it with penne is that the sauce and pancetta soak up inside the pasta making it even more flavorful with every bite!

Here’s a fun guide to all different pasta shapes!

Frequently Asked Question

Does carbonara have raw egg?

Yes, there is raw egg in carbonara, but the hot pasta helps “cook” the eggs a little.

Can carbonara be reheated?

Yes, there is raw egg in carbonara, but the hot pasta helps “cook” the eggs a little.

How long with carbonara last in the fridge?

Cooked pasta with sauce will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. Top it was fresh cheese and pepper to add freshness.

Should carbonara have cream?

Most carbonara recipes have cream in them. It gives the pasta the rich creamy flavor we all love.

More Easy Dinner Recipes You’ll Love!

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The Most Delicious Turkey Meatball Recipe 

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Easy Risotto with Parmesan 

Classic Wedge Salad with THE BEST DRESSING EVER!!

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Sheet Pan Chicken and Sausage Bake

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The Best Meatball Recipe

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Easy Carbonara

A flavorful, easy cabonara recipe. It's an Italian pasta made with pancetta and perfect for a weekday family dinner or a dinner party!
4.91 from 11 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Italian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 765kcal
Author: Eden

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 lbs pancetta , cut ino 1/2" cubes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil , extra pepper to ganrish the pasta
  • 1/2 tbsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 3 tbsp salt, use for boiling water and pasta
  • 1 cup grated parmesan
  • 1 lbs thick spaghetti or bucatini pasta

Instructions

  • Cut pancetta into thick cubes.
  • Brown the pancetta in a skillet with olive oil and pepper until brown, almost crispy, on all sides. Let it sit while you make the rest.
  • In a bowl combine eggs and cream and whisk until combined.
  • Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling water and salt until al dente.
  • Quickly drain the pasta and put it back in the large hot pot.
  • Pour the egg and cream mixture into the hot pasta and stir.
  • Add in the parmesan cheese.
  • Add in the pancetta and any bacon grease from the pan and stir it all together.
  • Top with freshly ground pepper and shaved parmesan.

Notes

You can use spaghetti, bucatini or linguine for this pasta. 
Cut the round pancetta into 1/2″ cubes. You can also have the butcher do this for you at the grocery store to make it even easier. 
 
 

Nutrition

Calories: 765kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 72g | Saturated Fat: 28g | Cholesterol: 150mg | Sodium: 5403mg | Potassium: 320mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 585IU | Calcium: 249mg | Iron: 1mg
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8 thoughts on “Easy and Delicious Carbonara Recipe”

  1. 5 stars
    One of my favorite all time recipes and absolutely my go to. You make it super easy to make with all the photos in the procedures, thanks for another awesome recipe!

    Reply

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