Pasta Carbonara will be your new favorite weeknight meal! Spaghetti coated in a thick and creamy egg sauce with crispy bacon and parmesan cheese. All you need is 30 minutes and 6 ingredients to make this!
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Pasta Carbonara is such a simple yet delicious meal. It’s comfort food at it’s finest! Whole eggs get tossed in hot pasta to create a thick rich and creamy sauce. It then gets sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan cheese and crisp smokey bacon. This is the perfect pasta carbonara recipe you will ever make!
One of the reasons why I love this dish is the fact that it comes together in less than 20 minutes. It’s the perfect meal for a busy weeknight. While the pasta is boiling I cook the bacon and shred the cheese. When the pasta’s done I reserve some of the water and toss in the raw eggs, parmesan cheese and bacon. Best of all you only need 6 ingredients to make this recipe most of which you probably already have on hand!
What is Pasta Carbonara?
Authentic Pasta Carbonara is an Italian based dish that’s made with crispy bacon, parmesan cheese and egg. The warm pasta and cooking water combined with the eggs create a creamy rich sauce that is amazing yet so simple.
- Spaghetti: You can also use thin spaghetti or fettuccine.
- Garlic: I like to add lots of fresh garlic to this dish. It adds so much flavor!
- Eggs: Are the base of the sauce. They make the sauce creamy and rich. Make sure to bring your eggs to room temperature before adding them to the hot pasta.
- Bacon: You can also substitute pancetta or guanciale.
- Parmesan Cheese: Helps to thicken up the sauce and adds a nice saltiness to the dish. I also love using pecorino romano in this recipe.
- Parsley: Adds a nice pop of color and freshness to the dish. You can substitute fresh basil if you have that on hand!
- Variations: I like adding peas, mushrooms, onions or spinach to this recipe as well! If you have any veggies you want to use up add them in!
how to make pasta carbonara
- Boil pasta: Until al dente according to package instructions.
- Cook bacon and garlic: Meanwhile in a large skillet add cubed bacon and cook over medium high heat until golden brown. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- Toss everything together: In a small bowl whisk eggs and cheese together, set aside. When pasta is ready drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta to the skillet with the bacon and garlic mixture. Add in the egg / cheese mixture and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Slowly toss the pasta until the pasta is coated. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Serve: Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh chopped parsley and additional cheese if desired. This pasta carbonara recipe is best served immediately.
- Store: Leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.
- Reheat: Pasta on the stovetop with a bit of butter or olive oil! It will still taste good reheated however pasta carbonara is never as good as it is when it’s fresh.
- The trick to making carbonara pasta is to start with room temperature eggs. This helps to keep your sauce smooth and clump free. Also to avoid scrambling the eggs it’s very important to take the pan off the burner when adding the eggs.
- Use freshly grated parmesan cheese not the sprinkle cheese. I like to buy the cheese in blocks and shred it myself. It makes such a difference.
- To add an extra protein boost add diced chicken, shrimp or scallops to this easy pasta carbonara.
- Make sure to properly salt your water when boiling your pasta. This helps to flavor the whole dish!
What to serve with Pasta Carbonara
- Homemade Focaccia
- Easy Dinner Rolls
- Grilled Chicken Breast
- Chicken Parmesan
- Honey Garlic Salmon
- Garlic Bread
- Roasted Garlic Brussels Sprouts
Here are more Easy Pasta Recipes to try!
- Easy Instant Pot Spaghetti
- Garlic and Oil Pasta
- BLT Pasta Salad
- Crock Pot Chicken Alfredo
- Pasta with Vodka Sauce
- Asparagus Pasta
- Spinach Stuffed Shells
20 Minute Pasta Carbonara
- Boil the pasta in salted water per package instructions until al dente. (Mine took 9 minutes). When pasta is ready drain and reserve 1 cup of the pasta water.
- Meanwhile in a large skillet add cubed bacon and cook over medium high heat until golden brown. Add in garlic and cook for an additional minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- In a small bowl whisk eggs and cheese together, set aside.
- Add the pasta to the skillet with the bacon and garlic mixture. Add in the egg / cheese mixture and 1/2 cup of the pasta water. Slowly toss the pasta until the pasta is coated. Add more pasta water if needed.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh chopped parsley and additional cheese if desired.