Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara Recipe

Who knew pasta carbonara was so easy to make? Trust us, this recipe for spaghetti pasta carbonara will become a new staple in your recipe rotation when you're in the mood for Italian fare. From the short grocery list, to the quick cook time, this recipe is excellent when you're in a bind for time, but still looking for something delicious to make. Honestly, the hardest thing about this recipe is deciding if you'd rather use bacon or pancetta.

Recipe developer Catherine Brookes of Blue Sky Eating knows a thing or two about cooking pasta, and her rendition of this oh-so-flavorful spaghetti pasta carbonara is no exception. "Carbonara is a classic Italian dish that requires just a few simple ingredients. It's so quick to make, and the result is rich, creamy, and packed with flavor," Brookes raves. "The pancetta adds a slightly smoky taste, and the fat it releases when cooking becomes part of that rich pasta sauce." 

Gather the ingredients for this spaghetti pasta carbonara recipe

You likely know the drill if you've made pasta carbonara before. For this recipe, you will need to get spaghetti, extra virgin olive oil, pancetta or thick-cut bacon, egg yolks, minced garlic, grated parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper.

Once you have those things, you can make this filling spaghetti pasta carbonara.

Cook the spaghetti

This recipe does not call for a specific brand of spaghetti, so you can select any kind that you like from the store. Once you have the pasta, grab a pot, fill it with salted water, and boil it on the stove. Since each brand varies, be sure to follow the directions on the back of the box to cook the pasta.

Once you finish cooking the spaghetti, reserve ½ cup of pasta water to use later, then drain the rest of the pasta, and set aside. 

Fry the pancetta

Drizzle the olive oil in a sauce pan, and turn the heat to medium-high. Add the diced pancetta, or bacon if applicable, to the pan, and cook for about 6 for 8 minutes, until it gets nice and crispy. Once crispy, you can add the minced garlic, and cook for another minute, until fragrant. 

Add the cooked spaghetti to the pan with the pancetta, mix everything well, and then remove the pan from the heat.

Whisk the sauce

You know what they say ... the secret is in the sauce. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, parmesan cheese, and ¼ cup of pasta water. "The sauce is savory and creamy with the main flavor being the parmesan cheese," Brookes raves. 

Add the sauce to the spaghetti

Pour the sauce over the spaghetti, and toss to coat. "When adding the sauce to the pasta, ensure the pan is off the heat. You just want to warm it through with the residual heat of the pan rather than cook it, or the egg may scramble," Brookes says.

Then, add the remaining ¼ cup of pasta water, and mix again. "Adding some of the reserved pasta water helps to loosen up the sauce, and make it super smooth and silky," Brookes notes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Serve and enjoy

Believe it or not, it's already time to dig in! Who knew you could have such a complete and delicious dish ready to eat in so little time? There's no doubt that the pasta is a complete meal in itself, but if you would like something else to add, Brookes gives a few great serving suggestions. "This is great served with greens, such as broccoli or green beans, or I also love to serve it with roasted tomatoes," she shares.

Sadly, leftovers just aren't the same. "This is best served fresh," Brookes notes. "I wouldn't recommend storing and reheating, as this will drastically change the texture of the sauce."

Spaghetti Pasta Carbonara Recipe
5 from 21 ratings
Enjoy this easy, delicious, weeknight spaghetti carbonara recipe in under 30 minutes.
Prep Time
Cook Time
spaghetti carbonara on plate
Total time: 25 minutes
  • 7 ounces spaghetti
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 ounces pancetta or diced thick-cut bacon, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 egg yolks
  • ⅔ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Boil the spaghetti in salted water per the package instructions. Reserve ½ cup of the pasta water after cooking, and set the drained pasta aside.
  2. Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Fry the pancetta on a medium-high heat until crispy, about 6 to 8 minutes. Then, add the garlic, and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the drained spaghetti to the pan with the pancetta, and toss everything together. Remove from the heat.
  4. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, parmesan cheese, and ¼ cup of the pasta water.
  5. Pour the egg mixture onto the spaghetti, and toss to coat. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup pasta water, add salt and pepper to taste, and serve.
Calories per Serving 989
Total Fat 54.6 g
Saturated Fat 20.7 g
Trans Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 299.7 mg
Total Carbohydrates 78.8 g
Dietary Fiber 3.4 g
Total Sugars 3.9 g
Sodium 1,167.7 mg
Protein 43.1 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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