Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe (2024)

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Cooking Notes

Julian Fernandez

Never combine the ingredients in the pan you have had on the burner. The eggs will cook and harden. Place a stainless steel mixing bowl under your colander and let the pasta water heat the bowl. Discard the water and use the heated bowl to combine all ingredients. Toss for at least two minutes.

Julian Fernandez

At Step 2, a clove or two of minced or pressed garlic should be added to the egg and cheese mixture. I've never seen a carbonara recipe that did not include garlic.

At Step 3, you can replace the olive oil with 1/4 C. water. Sounds crazy, but the bacon will remain tender and flavorful. After it has cooled slightly, whisk one or two tablespoons of rendered bacon fat, in a slow stream, into the egg/cheese/garlic mixture. Much creamier and flavorful.

Max H.

This recipe is spot on. My wife thinks I'm a pro when I cook it :) I do have 1 tip though. Don't be afraid to add the starchy water at the end. Doing so makes it more smoothy and creamy. It might seem a little too wet at first but it will cool down and be just right. The first 2 times I made this dish I only added a 1/4 cup of water because it looked wet enough. However once the dish cooled it got a bit sticky and dry. I regretted not adding more water and learned my lesson.

Alexa H

Just of interest, where is the garlic that is mentioned so frequently in the reviews? In eating Roman spaghetti carbonara there was absolutely no garlic. Much food in Italy has very spare amounts of or even no garlic. It is in America that we add so much garlic to Italian food.

Mark

Good version of carbonara. I generally buy pasteurized eggs when I make this. I prefer all yolks rather than whole eggs. I don't generally buy pecorino, so I use all parmesan. If you use bacon, don't get anything too heavily smoked. I generally use bacon because pancetta is triple the cost and guanciale is even more costly. And for goodness sake, why on earth would anybody create a recipe for 3/4 lb pasta. Toss in another egg and a few additional slices of bacon.

Steve Muni

I also saute half a chopped onion with the pancetta, and add half a cup of chopped parsley at the very end. That's the way I was taught by my mother, who learned it from the cook at a little Rome trattoria in 1951.

Cheryl

Regardless of whether it should have garlic or shouldn't, whether cream negates it as carbonara or not, whether eggs are necessary (um, yes), this is delicious. I went on a carbonara kick a few weeks ago, and I've tried out eleven recipes so far, and this is my favorite by far for its ease and quickness.

Paolo

Recipes are guidelines people! If the end result is good, who cares if it doesn't conform exactly to what your grandmother did. More than likely her version varied depending on what was around. I can't believe people become angry over varieties of grated cheese.

kate

You need to add the HOT pasta to the egg/cheese mixture to slightly/lightly cook it, and to coat the pasta with the "creamy" mixture. If you had pasta to bacon grease FIRST, the egg/cheese mixture will not adhere to the pasta, and you will end up with a lumpy mess in the bottom of the bowl-- it will slide off the pasta.
Speaking as someone who grew up in Rome, (a) capitol of Carbonara.

Elisabeth P

Beat whole eggs (2 @ person?) in pasta bowl, add some olive oil or butter. Cook bacon pieces/pancetta, drain on paper towels; cook sliced onion & garlic, add bacon back in, add white wine or dry vermouth. Cook spaghetti, then spoon some hot pasta water into eggs, stirring, then using tongs put all hot spaghetti into eggs quickly, let sit two seconds, toss. Toss in bacon mixture, seasonings (parsley, oregano, hot pepper flakes?), more pasta water if dry, serve with grated pecorino.

PTFogarty

Thank you for not including cream or milk, as many "so called" carbonara recipes do. Cream makes it Alfredo. I fell in love with carbonara when I was stationed in Naples, Italy, with the US Navy. In my version, I only use Parmesan, not Romano, but often add a bit of garlic to the frying bacon.

And yes, eggs are necessary. The dish was invented at the end of WWII when Napolitans discovered the GI's powered eggs.

Joe B.

Well, I suppose you could use eggbeaters. But then again, you could substitute smoked ham, Velveeta and noodles for the other three ingredients and get an acceptable dinner. It just wouldn't be Spaghetti Carbonara.

Patrizia

I've lived in Rome. Never had a Carbonara made with garlic. I do like the version with onions,though. Authentic Roman Carbonara is always made with guanciale. We definitely dribbled the guanicale fat in with the egg mixture. Produces that gorgeously sensual lip slicking as you fork the twirled pasta into your mouth. I especially love carbonara with lots of coarse ground pepper--the 'carbon' of the recipe.

cheryl

I found that if the egg mixture landed on the bottom of the pan, the eggs cooked like scrambled eggs. The trick is to pour the eggs on the noodles , keeping the eggs from pooling on the pan bottom.

greg b

I made pork belly and had some leftover. I thought, "why not make carbonara?".

First, I used a wide noodle, parpardelle, and all of cheese was parmesan, but otherwise I followed this recipe to a tee as I've always made it that way.

The pork belly, sliced into lardons about 3 cm x 1 cm, were substituted for the bacon.

Mind blown...oh my goodness, this was the BEST version of this dish I have ever made or tasted.

Brushjl

Delicious, quick and easy, who could ask for anything more?

Geoff Last

Carbonara never includes garlic in Italy, for those suggesting it. I use yokes only, one per person. The pasta water is a key component of the sauce, I remove a ladle full, let it cool a little so you don't scramble the eggs, then whisk it into the eggs slowly, until you have a silky sauce. I add the cheese and a little butter to the hot just-drained pasta, it brings the temperature down a little which helps minimize the risk of over cooking the egg mixture.

Eileen

you can add the egg and cheese mixture to the bacon pan if the heat is not on. it doesn't matter if bacon is room temperature.

robert

I use a wok which makes preparing carbonara so much easier. No garlic. Let the pasta cool down a bit and add the cheese mixture and water. The longer you stir, the creamier it gets. To be honest: it took me about 10 times from scrambled eggs to perfection. Roasted bell peppers as the best salad to complement carbonara.

Carol

I just can’t get past the salmonella risk, so am slightly compromising: after heating the pasta in the skillet, pour in the egg-cheese mix. Turn off the burner and stir it into the pasta, adding a little pasta water, letting the eggs cook a bit. Still tastes good, though probably not as creamy and not ideal for company.Great with “lightlife” smokey tempeh strips instead of bacon.If I use fresh pasta, this can be ready in under 15 minutes.

Mamma CJ

I am here just to read all the comments. I agree with those that recipes are "guidelines". Being Gluten-Free, I almost NEVER follow any recipe to the "T". For other Gluten Free(ers), I would use a GF pasta that is a mixture of Corn/Rice/Quinoa and or Corn/Legume pasta and not a just a straight-up rice pasta, because it would get too sticky. I'm not a "bacon" or even a pancetta person so I'd use Turkey Bacon, gluten free pasta, and be ready to add more olive oil and ease in the starchy water..

BunniV

Delicious, my husband nailed the recipe!

Molly

At risk of bastardizing a beloved dish, I join the fray! had to make something for Valentine’s, copied what the Times suggested!!! Carbonara…I’d had w onions and garlic and salty meats before, but not like this…had 3 oz of bacon and Parmesan so got eggs and pasta. Love the no butter, no cream. Heating of dishes - hot water in serving bowl - individual plates - essential. Also discard extra fat from cooked meat before adding the cooked pasta to warm. Lastly, ground pepper makes it.

Deb T

As a pescatarian, I use dry smoked salmon, fried, instead of pancetta. It is delicious, and a favorite of the rest of my meat-eating family.

Julia

Followed others’ suggestions to drain the pasta water in a colander over a large metal bowl for heating. Next time we’ll warm the serving bowls too! Excellent recipe, easy to follow and everyone asked for more.

Nancy Myers

After cooking the guanciale, bacon or whatever, we always add approximately 1/4 cup of parsley and about a tablespoon of red wine vinegar. The vinegar is key; we have never seen it in any restaurant or recipe and it adds just the right amount of piquancy.

c.boyardee

I almost doubled the meat, used nice bacon, and fresh spaghetti. Was great, ate way too much!

EugeniaH

Make sure to heat your individual pasta bowls as well as your serving bowl! This was yummy. I had everything I needed (used thick bacon slabs & added some of the fat to the cheese/egg sauce.

Judith

I don't use additional oil: the guanciale has enough fat to lubricate the pan, and then some. I beat some of that fat into the eggs, which adds a lot of flavour, and no additional salt is required.Finally, I put the serving bowl under the colander and let the pasta cooking water heat it up as it drains. Then I add the egg mixture and toss with pasta water as needed to create the right creamy consistency. In my house this does not serve 4 as a main course; more like two and a lunch.

woodyvo

I really want to make this but just can’t see how the warm spaghetti “cooks” the eggs. Aren’t you in effect eating raw eggs?

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Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe (2024)
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