March 8, 2023Review Recipe
Pasta Carbonara Recipe
Table of Contents
- What Is Carbonara Pasta?
- Linguine Carbonara Ingredients
- Substitution And Additions For Pasta Alla Carbonara
- How To Make Carbonara Pasta
- How To Serve This Bacon Carbonara Recipe
- Pasta Carbonara Recipe Storage
- Creamy Carbonara Pasta Recipe
- FAQs for Bacon Carbonara
- More Recipes You’ll Love
- JUMP TO RECIPE
- Even More Easy Recipes
Carbonara pasta is a classic Italian recipe that is surprisingly easy to make. This rich pasta has a creamy sauce made by mixing cheese and eggs with noodles and topped with tangy Romano cheese and crispy bacon.
What Is Carbonara Pasta?
Carbonara is an Italian pasta dish from Rome made with eggs, hard cheese, cured pork, and black pepper.
What Does Carbonara Mean In Italian?
The word carbonara is derived from the word carbonara, which means coal miner or coal burner. It was believed this hearty pasta dish was originally served to coal miners.
Linguine Carbonara Ingredients
The flavor of pasta carbonara is creamy and rich due to the combination of eggs and cheese. The bacon adds a salty smokiness that complements the creaminess of the sauce.
Whether served as a main course or as part of a larger meal, carbonara with bacon is sure to please any pasta lover’s taste buds.
Here are the ingredients you need to make our recipe:
- 3 large eggs plus 3 egg yolks, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon of black pepper
- 1¼ cups of grated pecorino Romano cheese, divided into 1 cup and ¼ cup
- 10 cups of water
- 1 tablespoon of salt
- 1 (16-ounce) box of linguine pasta
- ½ pound of bacon, diced
- 2 teaspoons of fresh minced garlic
- 1 to 1½ cups of reserved starchy pasta water (from the cooked pasta)
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped parsley
Using a high-quality cheese rather than any processed grated cheese in the shaker container for this recipe will give you the best results.
Substitution And Additions For Pasta Alla Carbonara
PASTA: While traditional carbonara recipes are made with long pasta noodles, any style of noodles would work for this recipe.
To stick with a longer noodle, you could also use spaghetti, bucatini, or angel hair pasta. I do not suggest a thicker noodle like fettuccine, as it becomes too many noodles for this delicate sauce.
CHEESE: This simple dish is traditionally made with pecorino Romano cheese, but a great substitute would be grated parmesan or a blend of the two kinds of cheese.
I suggest getting freshly grated cheese because it will melt into your sauce much easier and smoother, as the freshly grated cheeses typically do not have additives in the container to prevent clumping.
BACON: A thick-cut bacon would yield heartier bacon crumbles in your final dish if you choose it as a substitute. You can also substitute pancetta, however, it is not smoked like bacon, so you will not get that smoky taste in your final dish like the bacon will give.
The timing is critical in this recipe. It’s important to have all your ingredients ready before you start making it.
How To Make Carbonara Pasta
You might think you must have a lot of skills to make carbonara, but it’s not true! It’s actually super easy to prepare. With just a few ingredients and some cooking basics, you can have this classic pasta dish ready in no time.
For our recipe, we’re cooking the pasta separately, draining it, then adding it into the same pan with all of the other ingredients.
Cooking the pasta separately makes this recipe much easier because it helps you avoid overcooking or undercooking it.
Here’s how you make our recipe:
STEP ONE: In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the whole eggs, egg yolks, black pepper, and 1 cup of the grated pecorino cheese. Set aside.
STEP TWO: Bring an 8-quart large pot of salted water to a rolling boil. Once your water is boiling, you can add your linguine noodles and cook until al dente according to the package directions. This will take about 10 minutes.
OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS
Before draining the pasta, reserve some of the pasta water in a separate container. This water can be used to thin out the sauce if it becomes too thick.
While your pasta cooks, you can start cooking your bacon.
I find that dicing the bacon prior to cooking gives you better, more consistent-sized, bacon crumbles that cook more evenly and look nicer when served.
You can always cook your bacon in long strips and then crumble it after you have removed it from the pan if you wish.
STEP THREE: Add the diced bacon to a large skillet that is 2 inches deep over medium heat. Cook the bacon for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring often, or until golden and crispy.
Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the skillet and place it into a small bowl, leaving the rendered bacon fat in the skillet.
STEP FOUR: Turn off the heat to the skillet, add the minced garlic, and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
STEP FIVE: Remove 1½ cups of the starchy pasta water from the pot of cooked pasta and set aside. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss it around to coat the pasta with the garlic.
STEP SIX: Add the beaten eggs to the pasta and quickly toss the pasta with the egg mixture. Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and toss the hot pasta until the sauce mixture has coated the pasta and slightly thickened up.
The heat of the pasta and the hot pasta water will gently cook the eggs without scrambling them.
You may need to add an additional ¼ to ½ cup of starchy pasta water to thin out your sauce. You need to work fast and toss the pasta in the sauce a few times to really coat the pasta.
STEP SEVEN: Transfer your carbonara pasta to a large serving bowl. Top with the remaining ¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese, cooked bacon crumbles, and the fresh chopped parsley.
This pasta must be served hot and immediately after preparing it. It does not keep or reheat well.
How To Serve This Bacon Carbonara Recipe
While carbonara pasta is usually enjoyed as a main course, it can also be enjoyed as an appetizer or side dish. To bring out the classic flavors of this pasta, drizzle it with something acidic like balsamic vinegar or lemon juice. It will add great contrast to the creamy pasta sauce.
Adding some fresh herbs – such as basil or parsley – can also help to bring out the flavors.
This carbonara pasta recipe goes well with various side dishes, including roasted vegetables, Caesar salad, or a side salad.
For a truly indulgent meal, serve it alongside buttery garlic bread or cheesy pull-apart bread for an added crunch and flavor.
MORE PASTA RECIPES
If you’re looking for a couple more classic creamy pasta recipes, you have to give these a try: This copycat Olive Garden alfredo sauce is so flavorful and delicious, it’s perfect over any type of pasta. And this slow cooker chicken pasta is an easy way to make a satisfying pasta dish.
Pasta Carbonara Recipe Storage
IN THE FRIDGE: This authentic carbonara pasta should be served immediately while it is still hot.
This dish really does not work well to reheat or to make ahead, due to the nature of the carbonara sauce thickening and being absorbed by the pasta as it sits and cools.
IN THE FREEZER: We don’t recommend freezing this pasta carbonara recipe once it has been fully cooked — as the creamy texture of the sauce won’t hold up to the freezing process.
How to Freeze Pasta
Cooked pasta can be frozen for up to three months, though it is important to note that the pasta should be cooked just until al dente before freezing – so it won’t become watery once thawed.
If the pasta has been cooked for too long, it will become mushy and will not freeze well.
Make sure to place it in an airtight container or freezer bag and remove as much air as possible from the container or bag. Also, label it with the date — so that you can keep track of how long the pasta has been frozen.
You’ll want to only add the sauce and other ingredients after the pasta has been thawed. This will prevent them from separating during the freezing process.
When ready to eat thawed pasta, reheat it with a bit of olive oil or butter. This will restore any moisture lost during freezing.
Creamy Carbonara Pasta Recipe
This traditional carbonara pasta recipe makes for a creamy and flavorful pasta dish. If you’re a fan of cheesy sauce on your pasta, then you will surely love it. It will have you feeling transported to your favorite Italian restaurant, right in the comfort of your own home.
FAQs for Bacon Carbonara
This carbonara pasta recipe is best made with either spaghetti, linguine, or rigatoni. They all hold the sauce in just the right way.
It may seem that there are raw eggs in this pasta as they are added to the pasta once the stove is turned off, but the heat from the pasta and pasta water will heat it to the point of cooking them without scrambling them. So the eggs are, in fact, cooked.
Pancetta would also work well in this pasta in place of the bacon. It doesn’t have quite the same smoky flavor as bacon does, but it will be equally delicious.
The original carbonara pasta was made with eggs, pork, pecorino cheese, and pepper, with no cream.
Alfredo is a rich sauce made with butter, and parmesan, while carbonara sauce is traditionally made with eggs, parmesan, and cured pork called guanciale.
Italians do not add any cream to their pasta carbonara.
Carbonara recipes tend to be high in fat and, therefore, not exceptionally healthy.
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Bacon Carbonara Pasta
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 3 large egg yolks, room temperature
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1¼ cups grated pecorino Romano cheese, divided into 1 cup and ¼ cup
- 10 cups water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 16 ounces linguine pasta
- ½ pound bacon, diced
- 2 teaspoons fresh minced garlic
- 1 to 1½ cups reserved starchy pasta water, from the cooked pasta
- 1 to 2 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the whole eggs, egg yolks, black pepper and 1 cup of the grated pecorino cheese. Set aside.
- In an 8-quart stockpot, bring the 10 cups water and 1 tablespoon of salt to a rolling boil. Once your water is boiling, you can add your linguine noodles and cook until al dente. This will take about 10 minutes. While your pasta is cooking, you can start cooking your bacon.
- In a large 12-inch skillet that is 2 inches deep, on medium heat, add the diced bacon. Cook the bacon for 9 to 11 minutes, stirring often or until golden and crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the skillet and place it into a small bowl, leaving the rendered bacon grease in the skillet.
- Turn off the heat to the skillet and add the minced garlic and cook for 1 minute until the garlic is soft and fragrant.
- Remove 1½ cups of the starchy pasta water from the pot of cooked pasta and set aside. Add the cooked pasta to the skillet and toss it around to coat the pasta with the garlic.
- Add the beaten egg mixture to the pasta and quickly toss the pasta with the egg mixture. Add 1 cup of the starchy pasta water and toss the pasta until the sauce has coated the pasta and slightly thickened up. The heat from the pasta and the starchy pasta water will gently cook the eggs without scrambling them. You may need to add an additional ¼ to ½ cup of starchy pasta water to thin out your sauce. You need to work fast and toss the pasta in the sauce a few times to really coat the pasta.
- Transfer your carbonara pasta to a large serving bowl. Top with the remaining ¼ cup grated pecorino romano cheese, cooked bacon crumbles and the fresh chopped parsley.
- Using a high-quality cheese rather than any processed grated cheese in the shaker container for this recipe will give you the best results.
- The timing is critical in this recipe. It’s important to have all your ingredients ready before you start making it.
- This pasta must be served hot and immediately after preparing it. It does not keep or reheat well.
We love this – such an easy and delicious recipe!
Easy and delicious! A weeknight favorite for our family!
Marian Busse says
Going to give it a try
James witt says
I love this, this is almost exactly how my mom taught me, the only difference is she added small diced ham as well as the bacon, she never used the pasta water either. Using the pasta water really makes a huge difference in the sauce. I will always use the pasta water. Thank you