Classic Spaghetti Carbonara

    (1850)
    40 mins

    Here's the classic Italian carbonara, made by scrambling eggs and Parmesan into cooked spaghetti. This is a decadent dish, great when you want to get together with your 'khaas' friends or want to impress someone with a festive but quick dinner dish.


    1679 people made this

    Ingredients
    Makes: 8 

    • 1 (500g) packet spaghetti
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 8 rashers pancetta or streaky bacon, chopped
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1 onion, chopped
    • 1 clove garlic, minced
    • 4 tablespoons dry white wine (optional)
    • 4 eggs, beaten
    • 50g grated Parmesan cheese
    • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
    • handful chopped fresh parsley
    • grated Parmesan cheese to serve

    Directions
    Prep:20min  ›  Cook:20min  ›  Ready in:40min 

    1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook spaghetti until just al dente. Drain well. Toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and set aside.
    2. Meanwhile in a large frying pan, cook chopped pancetta until slightly crisp; remove and drain onto kitchen roll. Reserve 2 tablespoons of dripping; add remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat in the same frying pan. Add chopped onion and cook over medium heat until onion is translucent. Add minced garlic and cook 1 minute more. Add wine if desired; cook one more minute.
    3. Return cooked pancetta to pan; add cooked and drained spaghetti. Toss to coat and heat through, adding more olive oil if it seems dry or is sticking together. Add beaten eggs and cook, tossing constantly with tongs or large fork until eggs are barely set. Quickly add 50g Parmesan cheese and toss again. Add salt and pepper to taste (remember that bacon and Parmesan are very salty).
    4. Serve immediately with chopped parsley sprinkled on top and extra Parmesan cheese at the table.

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    Reviews and Ratings
    Global ratings:
    (1850)

    Reviews in English (1216)

    by
    2704

    It's a great recipe with some modifications. An Italian friend of mine who cooks told me that the proper way to make smooth Carbonara sauce is to combine the beaten eggs with the grated parmesan, and then to pour that mixture onto the spaghetti once the spaghetti has cooled slightly (so that it's still hot, but so that the eggs don't cook and the cheese melts seamlessly into the eggs and pasta). I tried that, and the sauce was unbelievably creamy! A few other changes I made - I used less pasta, pancetta instead of bacon, and grated a brick of fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano for a sharper flavour - so that was about 3 cups of grated cheese instead of 1 cup. The final product was full of flavour and my guests wanted seconds - and no need to add salt. I didn't use wine because I didn't have any at the moment, but next time I will - it will probably add some interesting dimension. Also tips on reheating in microwave - if it's on a high setting, it will cook the egg and the pasta will solidify. I reheat mine on medium heat so the sauce stays creamy.  -  23 Jul 2007  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

    by
    1063

    SandyT. here -- thanks for all the positive reviews! This recipe is a home adaptation of one from Angeli Restaurant in Los Angeles (where I was pastry chef for four years). The original recipe used cured, unsmoked Italian pancetta bacon (which is delicious if you can find it). Myself, I use applewood smoked American bacon, and usually double the amount in the recipe. All your suggestions (adding cream, peas, mushrooms, etc., or omitting things) are great, because cooking should constantly evolve, depending on the cook. Please continue to let your personal tastes be your guide!  -  07 Dec 2002  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

    by
    790

    Okay, I have to laugh, too, when people say, "I love it! Now let me modify it!" This dish is my all-time favorite, and this recipe is simply oustanding! I've never found a recipe online that I thought approached my own version, til now. But (you were waiting for that). . .someone asked for something different. Three things I do different: bacon, cream, and nutmeg. I do half-bacon, half ground mild italian sausage, and set it all aside for later. When doing the "quick combine" at the end, I add about 3/4 cup heavy cream, at room temp. And to finish it, about 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. nutmeg. Overall, it richens it quite a bit, adds to the fat content (no kidding?), but "warms up" the flavor in a really rich, winter-night sort of way. Thanks for this terrific (and correct) version of this recipe, Sandy.  -  07 Jul 2002  (Review from Allrecipes US | Canada)

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