A super easy Italian Carbonara Pasta Recipe with only 4 ingredients – ready on the table in less than 30 minutes! Learn how to create this mouth-watering Italian dinner that costs less than $10 with plenty left over for lunch.
Bring a large saucepan of water to boil and cook your pasta following the packet directions. Stop cooking just as it becomes al dente, because it will keep on cooking in the next few steps. Drain, reserving some pasta water for later.
300 g spaghetti
Crack the eggs in a small bowl and add the grated cheese. Whisk until evenly blended, then set aside.
3 eggs, 30 g parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Fry up the bacon or pancetta pieces in a large frying pan over medium heat. No added oil required!
200 g bacon pieces
Transfer the drained pasta into the frying pan with the bacon/pancetta and toss through the bacon using a spoon and fork.
Reduce the heat to the lowest setting or OFF (important!), then pour in your egg and cheese mixture and quickly toss it through the pasta until evenly coated, so it doesn’t scramble.
Transfer into individual serving bowls and serve immediately. Optional: Garnish with a sprinkling of black pepper and sea salt, and/or some reserved grated cheese.
Use Quality Ingredients - Since there are so few ingredients in the recipe, each one stands out. For the best flavour and overall texture in the dish, use the highest quality ingredients you can source.
Pasta - For the most traditional carbonara, serve it with spaghetti or fettuccine. But it will also go well with any kind of pasta you have on hand. We also love it with tube pasta like penne or rigatoni. Cook until just al dente, ie slightly ‘firm to the bite’ and not too soft. This will stop the pasta from falling apart in the pan as you mix it through the carbonara sauce.
Eggs - We use whole eggs in our recipe. You can use egg yolks only for a richer flavour if you prefer, however you’ll need to double the amount.
Bacon - Carbonara is usually made with locally produced small goods such as guanciale or pancetta, but when cooking at home bacon is a super handy substitute. Whatever you use, cook until nice and crispy for the best flavour.
Sauce - We're aiming for a creamy, glossy sauce - not scrambled eggs. Once you’ve fried up the bacon and thrown the pasta in the pan, you want to pour in your egg + cheese mixture and cook just long enough for the eggs and cheese to melt and become creamy and glossy. If the sauce is too thick at this point, you can stir in a small amount of pasta water to help thin it out.
Test the Heat - If you're unsure about when to add the egg mixture into the pan, you can test it by adding a splash of pasta water. When you hear no more sizzling sounds, you’re ready to add the egg mixture.
Tiny Clumps in the Sauce? This may just be the cheese starting to melt when you first add the egg mixture to the pasta. Keep tossing the sauce through the pasta. As long as you’ve turned off the heat, you should end up with glossy carbonara sauce without scrambling the eggs.
Storage - Carbonara is best eaten immediately, but will last for 2-3 days in the fridge if kept in an airtight container. We don’t recommend freezing this recipe.