Spaghetti alla Carbonara

spaghetti carbonara

Spaghetti alla Carbonara sounds very fancy, but it’s actually a delicious simple pasta dish with a few key ingredients. Pasta, Pecorino-Romano cheese, salty pork, eggs and a lot of pepper! Try this dish for two or four, but I promise you’ll want to make more!

Spaghetti alla Carbonara
Prep Time
8 mins
Cook Time
9 mins
Total Time
17 mins

Rich, cheesy, peppery and delicious, Spaghetti alla Carbonara is perfect for one, two or a large group. 

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 large servings
Author: SmartyPantsKitchen
  • 1 lb spaghetti pasta
  • 8 oz Percorino-Romano cheese grated
  • 2 egg yolks room temperature
  • 10 cups water
  • 8 slices bacon cooked and crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons three pepper blend
  1. Cut bacon into small pieces; in a large pan, cook bacon pieces till done; place them on a paper towel; set aside

  2. Pour off most of the bacon grease; set pan  aside

  3. Grate, then shred Pecorino-Romano cheese; set aside

  4. Bring water to boil

  5. Separate eggs and stir in 1/2 cup of grated cheese; set aside

  6. Cook pasta 9 minutes (al dente)

  7. Place the pan you used to cook the bacon on the stove on a low setting

  8. Using tongs, transfer cooked pasta to the pan with the bacon drippings and stir the pasta 

  9. Temper the Eggs: (Add 3 tablespoons warm pasta water to egg/cheese mixture; stir well)

  10. Add 1 cup warm pasta water to pasta, then add egg/cheese mixture; combine well

  11. Add remaining grated cheese to pasta and combine well; keep mixing; add a warm pasta water in 1/2 cup increments to desired consistency

  12. Add pepper to pasta; stir well

  13. Plate and add bacon pieces to each serving

Recipe Notes
  • I did quite a bit of research on this recipe and learned that an authentic carbonara sauce uses no cream, no Parmesan, no onions, no garlic and no green peas
  • The "bacon" used in a truly authentic carbonara is actually guanciale, which is an Italian cured meat from the pork jowls. 
  • You can substitute the Pecorino-Romano cheese with Parmesan, but authentic carbonara doesn't use Parmesan; Pecorino-Romano is much more pungent and flavorful 

Let me know how you liked this recipe!