Luscious, Creamy Spaghetti Carbonara

Pasta carbonara
Monty Rakusen / Getty Images
  • 40 mins
  • Prep: 10 mins,
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 4 Servings
Ratings (77)

The Italians make carbonara with guanciale, which is a sort of bacon made from cured pork cheeks, but you can substitute pancetta, which like ordinary bacon is from the pork belly, or just use bacon. Guanciale is not typically smoked, so for the most classic flavor, don't use smoked bacon.

Although the recipe says "spaghetti," you can make this carbonara recipe with penne or fettuccine or bucatini.

What You'll Need

  • 1 lb spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 lb bacon cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated pecorino-romano cheese (parmesan may be substituted)

How to Make It

  1. Fill a large soup pot with cold water and add a handful or so of Kosher salt. Stir and taste; it should taste like seawater. Cover the pot and heat the water until it boils.​
  2. Add the diced bacon to a cold sauté pan and cook slowly over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon from pan and drain on paper towels.​
  3. Drop the spaghetti into the boiling salted water and cook according to package instructions, about 6 to 9 minutes or until al dente, or tender but still firm to the bite.​
  1. While the pasta cooks, combine the eggs, cheese, cream and olive oil in a bowl and beat with a whisk until completely mixed.
  2. Scoop out 1/2 cup of the pasta water and set it aside. Drain the pasta, then return it to the pot along with the bacon. With the pot off the heat, add the egg and cream mixture and stir briskly while the sauce thickens up. You can adjust the consistency with some of the reserved pasta water.​
  3. Transfer to serving bowls and garnish with the chopped parsley and freshly ground black pepper. Serve right away, with additional grated cheese if desired.